County asks court to stop TVR

LIHUE — A month after filing a lawsuit against a local real estate developer for using his vacation home as a short-term rental property, the Kauai County Planning Department is taking on the billionaire founder of Oakley.

The planning department filed a civil complaint in Fifth Circuit Court on Monday against Kauains LLC, a corporation registered to Oakley founder James Jannard, for allegedly operating an illegal transient vacation rental in Hanalei that has been on the planning department’s radar for more than two years.

The county’s request for a court-ordered injunction against the TVR appears to be the next step in a larger effort to crack down on short-term rental properties that violate county ordinances. Earlier this month, Planning Director Kaaina Hull told The Garden Island the county is about to harness new technology in an effort to identify and shut down illegal TVRs, estimating that 800 to 1,200 are in operation islandwide.

According to the complaint, the billionaire’s rental property has been the subject of planning department investigations, litigation and hearings dating back to August 2017, when the TVR’s permit application arrived two weeks past deadline.

The department denied the renewal application, but Kauains LLC continued to advertise and rent the TVR despite efforts by planning officials to enforce county regulations.

“Fines continue to accrue, the administrative process has been exhausted, and yet the defendant chooses to do as it pleases,” the complaint says, later requesting the court order an injunction against the TVR operation because “the county has no plain, speedy or adequate remedy” to prevent Jannard from violating Kauai statutes.

The Planning Department maintains that using the house as a short-term rental property in violation of county ordinances constitutes a daily public nuisance, “continuing to destabilize and overcrowd a small residential community with tourists and other transients.”

Jannard’s three-bedroom, two-bath house on Weke Road in Hanalei is worth a little over $10 million, and is advertised as the “Paniolo Beach Cottage” on a North Shore vacation rental website for $1,200 a night.

Jannard bought at least two other million-dollar properties on Kauai’s North Shore in 2015, one of which is registered as a TVR, according to county tax records. And Pacific Business News reported he recently purchased two more lots earlier this year for $19 million.

Jannard founded sunglasses empire Oakley out of his car in 1975, eventually selling the company for $2.1 billion in 2007, according to Forbes.

Jannard could not be reached for comment, and attorneys representing Kauains LLC have not responded to TGI inquiries about the matter.

  1. Da Shadow March 21, 2019 5:54 am Reply

    i’m so glad the county is focusing on these evil owners. Since visitors who spend upwards of $1,500 per night are such a scourge on the community. they are quiet, they spend, and then they leave -so detrimental to the community.
    the worst part: they support local businesses and services, HORRIBLE.
    it’s about time the county devotes resources putting an end to such nefarious behavior.

  2. Chamundi Sabanathan March 21, 2019 6:20 am Reply

    If this illegal activity continues, could eminent domain be utilized?

    1. Da Shadow March 21, 2019 12:14 pm Reply

      the county should definitely infringe further on private property rights. if they don’t like what you’re doing, they should take your property.
      oh wait, this is America

  3. Funny March 21, 2019 7:20 am Reply

    It’s funny how the county of Kauai is trying to clean up a problem that they’ve caused. The county of Kauai spending millions of dollars trying to look busy.

    It’s almost funny as the state of Hawaii proposing to tax the residents for each mile that they drive.

    Funny, reckless l, and insane that our elected officials can come up with this crap.

    1. I saw a Vampire once March 21, 2019 7:19 pm Reply

      Did you see the level of thinking they’re at? Built on youth, What i did then. Then they go ahead and build it on their campaign. What can I do now? They want to represent someone. Big deal on their election. Big deal on their job. Big deal on them.

      I wonder if they know the name of the state legislature and the administrator in charge. He’s making well in the one hundred thousandth dollar mark in income. Or her. But do you hear of him or her, no. Why not? Too busy putting up Ikaika Anderson, and spreading the good news. You can be him too.

  4. RG DeSoto March 21, 2019 8:45 am Reply

    Hopefully Jannard’s lawyers coupled with his deep pockets will kill the county’s continuing unconstitutional assault on private property rights. All the way to the supreme court if necessary.
    Time to stamp out state coerced discrimination against one class of renters and one class of property owners.
    RG DeSoto

    1. Da Shadow March 21, 2019 1:16 pm Reply

      Well said RG.
      it is astonishing that more people do not recognize the State’s discrimination and bullying.

  5. Uncleaina March 21, 2019 9:21 am Reply

    Why can’t the county send some law enforcement up to the house and enforce the laws? Turn off the power or water ? I thought our mayor was going to take action on matters like this rather than more hand wringing. Sad to see mainland people coming here and disrespecting our island like this. Also Oakley shades are terrible.

    1. Da Shadow March 21, 2019 12:13 pm Reply

      yeah -disrespecting the island by supporting the jobs of many people. would it be better if they kept noisy dogs and littered their yard with junk?

      1. Scrubs March 21, 2019 8:44 pm Reply

        Shut up worm. Dogs is Kauai’s way of life something you must not know of cause you not from Kauai. Clown

  6. Imua44 March 21, 2019 2:48 pm Reply

    I can’t wait for this to become part of the long term rental supply……$15,000 per month. Renter pays the 900 per month lawn care and $ 900 per month Electric

  7. I saw a Vampire once March 21, 2019 6:51 pm Reply

    Billionaire? Oakley sun glasses. I’ve seen those around. They’re very poplular. I might get myself one. Just for old time sake. Get real. Not paying anything to the county. And certainly not going anywhere, but more rich. I’m for Oakley.

  8. Wil Welsh March 21, 2019 8:50 pm Reply

    Love that perspective Da Shadow. As with most problems these days nothing is simple. There’s no doubt the illegal short term rentals could use some regulation and attention. But to kill all is to shut significant jobs and benefits to the island. An irony is that the country approves major developments (Kapaa hotels, Timbers, etc.) with huge projected impacts on the island traffic and infrastructure, yet they crack down on the little guy who wants to share a home. Visitors to the hotels and to the TVR’s, legal or otherwise, are driven by the same motive–to experience and appreciate the beauties of the island. They’re not going away. Millions of dollars have been spent (via organizations and commercial funders) to attract people to the islands. The State and commercial interests have created the “problem,” and cracking down on TVR’s is misguided and, ultimately, expensive. People won’t give up property rights easily. Can government legitimately tell me who can stay in my private home, enjoy my private property? Maybe we’ll find out. But finding out by pitting deep pockets on both sides will be time-consuming and expensive. Surely there’s a better way.

  9. Logical March 22, 2019 6:18 am Reply

    Those houses gives jobs to nemerous people on this island and help support local families. The county gave them TVRS to rent this place and trying to remove it just because of a late submission. County will lose so much tax dollars off of this, that could be used for roads. Focus on fixing the REAL problems and leave the people alone.

    1. Sasquatch March 23, 2019 8:10 am Reply

      Iillegal vacation rentals are just that , illegal. Legal vacation rentals provide jobs and pay taxes . Rich people who circumvent the law are not what we need in our neighborhoods. No one is above the law but many people feel they are within their rights to act that way because they have deep pockets and lawyers on retainers. These are not community minded people and what they are doing is ruining neighborhoods and making it so many including the kids that grow up here to leave the island. How does this help anyone except the owner of the home . Let the visitors stay in designated resort areas, and hotels. If there’s not enough places for them to stay , then maybe we’ve reached a saturation point for visitors.
      Commercial use of residential properties is wrong, private property rights do have limitations, thankfully. Many examples of what could come of people doing whatever they please with their property come to mind if there are no restrictions. Imagine a piggery or slaughter house being run next to where you live . Or maybe you would prefer a wood shop or manufacturing plant being run .They supply jobs too .
      Illegal vacation homes are like illegal immigration, just not right for the community and self serving.

  10. Gardener March 22, 2019 5:16 pm Reply

    This is the county’s fault for pandering to wealthy developers rather then building low to moderate income units throughout the island. Kapa’a which is in desperate need of low income housing has not had new units built in 50 years.

  11. Kauai Rootz March 25, 2019 2:54 pm Reply

    Did I just read, permit renewal application was late 2 weeks??
    Lets throw Oakley in jail for life & make him pay for the snail mail island issues and gift all of us free sunglasses. Haha

    Sadly, this article sounds too much like Nazi communist Germany!
    From my perspective the TVR issues is simple. All owners of TVR in the TVR zones should be allowed to operate with ample time for reapplication.

    Residents only who “reside” on island should be allowed to go through due legal process to offer a portion of their home for rent assuming they applied for a business license, get neighbor approval sign off and adhere to all taxes, parking, health & safety requirements of offering such business. This would help the local families and county with additional revenues and not burden the island in any way. Non residents and those who don’t reside would be kept to the current county codes. After all, shouldn’t the county seek to benefit our Kama’ Aina who struggle every day to make it here. The taxes alone earned from this would help the county build the affordable housing that they have not done for our people.

    As for affordable housing, it does not exist on the island anymore sadly.
    Any affordable housing built would soon enough “not be affordable”. What the county needs to do is build multiple subsidized low income housing units throughout the island where rent remains “capped”.

    In my humble opinion those with ANY Hawaiian blood should be allowed to live in this housing “rent free” & tax exempt, the least the county can offer for all that’s been taken. I say this as someone with no Hawaiian blood.

    I would much rather my tax $$$ go to support this cause than the current Nazi regime we call the county!

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