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PUC head Mina Morita fined $31,000 for unauthorized rentals

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 8:11 p.m. HST, May 23, 2014

The state Board of Land and Natural Resources  voted Friday to fine Public Utilities Commission Chairwoman Hermina Morita and her husband $31,000 for building and operating a pair of unauthorized commercial vacation rentals on restricted conservation land on Kauai.

Morita and husband Lance Laney, the listed landowner, were further ordered to remove the two rental cottages, discontinue all commercial activity on the parcel, and submit an after-the-fact application for a large garage constructed on the property.

According to DLNR's Office of Conservation and Coastal Lands, the couple made unauthorized use of a 3.18-acre parcel of land within a State Land Use Conservation District Protective Subzone in Hanalei  at the end of Ohiki Road. The area is primarily used for light farming and recreation and includes "minor" residential development, according to the OCCL.

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