Couple could face big fine for unauthorized bed and breakfast

Published On: Mar 12 2014 07:30:00 AM HST
HANALEI, Hawaii -

Public Utilities Commission chair Hermina Morita and her husband Lance Laney are coming under fire by the Department of Land and Natural Resources. The couple is being accused of building illegal structures on conservation land on Kauai and running illegal vacation rentals there.

The land is located in Hanalei Valley.

On Dec. 16, Land chair William Aila sent the Laneys a letter that read: "You are hereby ordered to cease any further land uses or activities (including all current and future vacation rentals) on the subject parcel immediately."

According to documentation from the DLNR, its Office of Conservation and Coastal Lands first received an anonymous complaint in 2008. It was about the property in Hanalei, but recently received new information that resulted in the allegations.

According to the office, the Laneys were given the approval to rebuild one structure on the land following Hurricane Iniki. But photographs provided as exhibits in the case show several other buildings were built.

DLNR says the buildings were constructed without authorization.

The DLNR documents also include photographs from the couple's now defunct website, showing two separate cottages for rent. The Hale Nui rented for $130 a night. Hale Li'i for 140 nightly.

The OCCL has placed the item on the Land board's Mar. 28 agenda. The OCCL is recommending the land owner be fined $15,000 for unauthorized construction, $15,000 dollars for unauthorized commercial vacation rental activity and that all unauthorized structures be removed.

KITV4 contacted Lance Laney Tuesday and he said, "We don't want to say anything about it."

He has told the Garden Isle Newspaper they are no longer renting the units.

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