Commission recommends $130,000 fine

LIHUE — The owners of a vacation rental property on the Wailua River may be fined $130,000 for violating county zoning ordinances.

The Kauai County Planning Commission on Tuesday unanimously adopted the recommendation of its hearing officer in favor of the Planning Department’s decision to fine landowners Greg and Joanne Allen for operating an illegal transient vacation rental in Wailua.

“When illegal TVR operators blatantly break the law, they disrespect our community, our people and our island,” said Mayor Derek Kawakami in a statement Tuesday.

Greg Allen said Wednesday that he doesn’t understand why he is being targeted by the county, and called the Planning Department’s actions against transient vacation rentals “a bad business move.”

According to Allen, TVRs could potentially generate a lot of tax revenue for the county.

“They should take that money and create affordable housing units, which is what I’m trying to do,” he said.

Whether the Allens will actually have to pay the county $130,000 remains to be seen. Greg Allen said he intends to appeal the commission’s decision. The Planning Commission still needs to issue a final written order before formal enforcement action can be taken to collect the fines, according to Planning Department Director Ka‘aina Hull.

According to county officials, the Allens had been renting their property illegaly for over a year. In August 2017, the Planning Department issued a violation notice and a $10,000 fine to the Allens, informing the couple that they would be subject to ongoing fines if they failed to cease and desist.

“It is the responsibility of the County of Kauai to aggressively monitor and enforce the law, and the Planning Department will be utilizing new technology and innovative methods to identify illegal TVR operators,” Kawakami said.

“The time is now for our community to take back their neighborhoods,” Kawakami said.


Caleb Loehrer, staff writer, can be reached at 245-0441 or

  1. Wally Roberts January 28, 2019 4:10 am Reply

    Sounds like a case of “I don’t like the rule, so it is a bad rule.”

  2. james January 28, 2019 6:34 am Reply

    They kept breaking the law after being fined $10,000? Why do they think the rules don’t apply to them? Kudos to the County for enforcing the law. Maybe others will quit breaking the law after reading this story. Good job planning commission! By stepping up enforcement, it may open up more long term rentals as these illegal transient rental owners see the light to avoid getting popped like the Allens.

  3. RG DeSoto January 28, 2019 6:49 am Reply

    “The time is now for our community to take back their neighborhoods,” Kawakami said.
    Spoken in the fine tradition of V.I. Lenin or Mao…way to go Derek. Private property? What private property?

    RG DeSoto

  4. LMat January 28, 2019 8:24 am Reply

    YES Dereck!! That’s why we voted for you!! Come Kekaha, get plenty illegal TVRs.

  5. Rev. Dr. Malama Robinson January 28, 2019 8:24 am Reply

    The county of Kauai is a branch of law enforcement for the belligerent military industrial complex of the usa.
    CEASE and desist notice has been delivered to each person elected or appointed who continues PILLAGING our independent and illegally occupied country.
    Stand down or be tried for war CRIMES in ICC…..

  6. Kona January 28, 2019 8:50 am Reply

    I hope they double the fine! People like this should be kicked off the island! They i make it hard for everyone else to live peacefully in the community!

  7. Joe Public January 28, 2019 8:52 am Reply

    ‘Targeted” Illegal operations such as these deserve to be identified and given fines. They are making money without the proper permits and also adding to our islands traffic.

    Find them all and give them the fines they deserve.

  8. Charlie Chimknee January 28, 2019 9:06 am Reply

    Aloha Kakou,

    Or is it time for the community to take back their private property rights from the government, make a living in this modern world with vacation rentals worldwide, and pay their obligated taxes so the government can pay its workers and provide programs for affordable housing and education and creation for the children, and special needs for some.

    Just the fact that the Allen home is on the Wailua River precludes it from being affordable as a local long term rental, nor would the Allen’s overhead costs tolerate low income rental.

    As Mayor Derek said while at Council, Kauai is ready for 3 and 4 story homes. And therein what Derek said, lies the availability for 3 and 4 generations to live and grow on the same property, and bond together for a lifetime, and how God apparently intended. This is why families are called FAMILY. FAMILY means TOGETHER.

    Let’s not forget that.

    Mahalo to Mayor Derek for his words of Wisdom.


  9. randy kansas January 28, 2019 10:42 am Reply

    does not sound like the community is taking back their neighborhoods…sounds like the government is taking them;

    lets see here….shut down someone trying to make a few bucks and contribute to the tax base….in a neighborhood, that according to government statistics, has about 60-70% of its residents drawing some sort of government assistance;

    bad business decision in deed !

    thanks you;


    1. Jake January 28, 2019 3:15 pm Reply

      Well, you have somewhat of a point.

      But, um, like,…….you know if it is illegal, then they are not pay any taxes.

      Good point on the “Government Assistance”.

  10. Oingo boingo January 28, 2019 12:43 pm Reply

    Operating illegally so they ain’t paying no taxes period….
    Fine them…if they don’t pay put a lien on the property

  11. rk669 January 28, 2019 4:35 pm Reply

    60-70% of Kauai Citizens on Fed Govt Handouts? Pitiful for a Community!

  12. behappy January 29, 2019 8:29 am Reply

    Property rights of owners are non-existent here. The county decides who can live in your home and how long they can stay then they fine you if you don’t listen to THEIR wisdom. On top of that they tax you the way the want. Many owners have to pay the highest investment tax but cannot rent their home as an investment owner should be able to. It’s all a made up system that those in power have created. No thought of owner’s rights!

  13. Koert January 31, 2019 11:27 am Reply

    What about the property rights of community members who purposely bought their homes in residential neighborhoods?

    When we bought our home, we could have saved about 30% by buying next to a commercial area but we struggled to pay extra so that we could have local families, not tourists, as neighbors. I’m happy to see fines proportionate to the profits made by those who try to get away with this latest get-rich-quick real estate scheme.

  14. Mr.B May 31, 2019 1:03 pm Reply

    So this illegal forfeiture goes to the community or to the county employees already bankrupt pension fund?

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