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Kauai officials report progress on vacation rental enforcement

LIHUE >> Kauai County is looking at solidifying rules as enforcement officials shut down transient vacation rentals operating illegally.

Six illegally operating single-family transient vacation rentals have been closed outside the visitor destination area so far this year. In fiscal year 2015, officials shut down 71, the Garden Island reported.

Many planning officials who have revisited these properties find that they have reopened.

County planning director Michael Dahilig updated county councilmembers on the issue Wednesday.

“It’s not just a citation and they shut down,” Dahilig said. “We have been getting into much administrative litigation as a consequence of people being persistent and wanting to have rights on the property that they are not entitled to.”

Dahilig said it doesn’t appear the issue is going to resolve itself.

“This is a way of life for us now,” Dahilig said. “We are going to have to enforce on TVRs consistently because people are going to continue to choose to break the law.”

He said property owners who rent illegally are not always assessed the $10,000 daily fine, which Council Chairman Mel Rapozo said should not be the case.

Vacation rental owners have had to live onsite since a rule change in May 2015.

The planning committee will consider new transient vacation rental rules Jan. 21. Depending on planning committee action, the measure could appear before council members for a second reading by Jan. 27.

“We’re trying to work through to provide more direct policy guidance on homestay issues,” Dahilig said. “A more permanent measure to close that loophole.”

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  • Consistent assessment of daily fine for illegal operations is probably the only way to get compliance. Blatant disregard of existing rules is a sure sign of utter disrespect for the local government, people who follow the law, including those who would not use the island to fill their bank accounts. You want to live in paradise? Pay the price. Get a real job. Follow the laws. Adjust your life-style like the law-abiding, hard-working people .

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