Kauai Real Estate Update, Serve On A Homeowner Board?, Kalaheo Water Improvement Project, Sting Operation On Illegal Vacation Rentals

Kauai Real Estate Update, Serve On A Homeowner Board?, Kalaheo Water Improvement Project, Sting Operation On Illegal Vacation Rentals

  • Lynda Gill
  • 04/24/23

Kauai Real Estate- For a complete list of all the real estate activity that happened last week on the island of Kauai including what Sold, was Just Listed and what went Under Contract click here;  Kauai Real Estate Update April 17 to 23, 2023

Poipu Beach Real Estate Update-  What has been happening in the Fee Simple market in Poipu Beach since the beginning of this year?  Click here for all the activity:  Poipu Beach Current Market Analysis
For the Kiahuna Plantation click here:  Kiahuna Plantation Current Market Analysis

Kalaheo Water Improvement Project
$21.7 million dollars will be spent by the Kauai Department of Water to replace the main water storage tanks and the underground water infrastructure lines in Kalaheo.  This will start in May of this year and the work will extend into 2025.  The work being done is pro-active, at this time there are no issues but due to the age of the current infrastructure they are addressing it before it becomes a problem.
Funding is coming from three different sources:  $10.2 million from a State grant, $10.6 millions from the State Department of Health’s Drinking Water Revolving Fund and $952,430 from Kauai Department of Water.
Work will start first on Pu’uwai and Kikala Road then Po’ohiwi Road.  Water shut offs will be temporary, no long-term impacts are expected.

Kauai Undercover Sting Targets Illegal Rentals
Kauai was the first island to start cracking down on illegal vacation rentals starting in 2008.  Despite their best-efforts illegal vacation rentals continued and reached their peak in 2017 when it was estimated that there were 1,500 island wide.  An illegal vacation rental is one that is operating outside of the VDA or one that is outside the VDA but has been grandfathered in and reapplies for their license every year (like the home along Lawai Road going towards Spouting Horn in Poipu).
The county started making significant progress in 2020 when Kauai county established data-sharing agreement with Airbnb, VRBO and Expedia where it is estimated that 70% of people that direct rent out their properties advertise.  The other 30% are on Craigslist and FlipKey. 
The data sharing made a huge dent in identifying and stopping illegal rentals and by December of 2021 there were less than 50.  The Planning Department has been doing undercover reservations, posing as a renter and collecting the evidence to issue violations which can be up to $10,000 a day.  In addition to this fee the property owner will start getting taxed at the Hotel/Vacation property tax rate which is the highest rate that we have. 

Cease and Desist Issued For Coco Palms Developers
Reef Capital Partners, a Utah based company who owns the Coco Palms, has been given a cease and desist to stop their unpermitted clearing of trees by the State.  If they don’t stop they will be fined $15,000 a day. 
Reef Capital wants to build a 350 room hotel where the once iconic hotel has been since the 1950’s.  The community is still fighting back against the development and at this time there is no clear pathway to the hotel being restored. 
The developer responded by saying that it was an “honest mistake” and that they thought they had permission to clear the overgrowth, remove abandoned cars and trash. 
The developer remains committed to their $250 million dollar plan to renovate the hotel however this seems to be an uphill battle with the local community who cites over-tourism, traffic, sea level rise and a massive amount of cultural significance at the site for opposing the rebuilding of the hotel which has been shuttered since Hurricane Iniki in 1992.

Serve On A Board?  Proposed Bill SB729 Has Board Members Taking A Class
Condominium and Residential Home Community Boards are comprised of owners that are elected to the Board by other homeowners and they serve without pay.  They have a fiduciary duty to act along the guidelines in the Covenants, set a budget, communicate with management on issues that come up within the community and much (much) more.
In my 19 years of doing real estate I’ve had a lot of experience both personally serving on a Board and communicating with various Boards island wide.  Serving on a board is a very time consuming and mostly thankless endeavor.  I’ve seen Board members treated badly by people that believe themselves to be a victim when in actuality they didn’t read the rules when they were buying the property, or by those who are not happy people and feel it’s safe to act out their frustrations on the Board, those who love to complain and criticize the Board but would never take the time to serve themselves.  My personal belief is this is what keeps some really great people from serving on Boards. 
For this reason, the proposed Senate Bill 729 has me a bit worried however, I also see why this Bill was thought of in the first place.  This Bill would require a board member to take a leadership course within 90 days of being elected to their positions.  Right now some Board members have little to no training and will bring various levels of skill sets, most of which come from their primary professions.  They also might be serving because the Board has nobody else that will volunteer.  The concern some have is this extra hurdle could keep away those that are on the fence about serving in the first place.
This Bill is one to watch and it’s going to be discussed before the Legislature adjourns on May 3rd.  To follow this Bill click here:  SB729

Work With Lynda

Speaking from experience, I am here to tell you that dreams can turn into reality with a bit of planning and the help of an experienced Kauai realtor. I'd love to share my expertise with you if you are thinking of making Kauai your future home.