FORM LETTER TO THE MAYOR/PRESS RELEASE
The Honorable Mayor Bernard Carvalho
The Citizens of Kaua'i
Dear Mr. Mayor
We humbly implore you to veto the current TVR "Due Process" bill before you.
We realize that TVR's that wish to be "grandfathered" into an exempted class may or may not have been legal. There are various legal opinions on this. However, we also stand by the State Attorney General Opinions in which it has been stated that overnight uses shall not be allowed, and this applies to TVR use, which is not considered an accessory to a farm use, because there is no farming occurring on the properties.
We have heard numerous testimonies from TVR owners that they cannot farm their land, which is why they need to have expensive, palatial mansions costing up to 10,000 dollars a week, and in some cases up to 9,000 dollars a night, for rent on the property to "afford" to "support" their families.
We beg to differ, Sir. Local farmers who bought agricultural land, and who have been farming their lands did not put up palatial mansions on them, and are also struggling to support their families. They did not engage in this questionable activity and farmed their lands. It is highly unfair to favor one class of people over another on land zoned exactly the same. Therefore if you give an exemption to the TVR owner over the law abiding farmer what will that do to the character and dare we say it the very fiber and soul of this island?
Further, Mr. Mayor many politicians and public officials have stated over and over again about the importance of "sustainability", and the "promotion" of sustainable practices on our island. How can the practice of TVR accommodations on agricultural lands be seen as sustainable? There is numerous testimony on record from TVR owners, that they landscape and garden their property in one breath, but then the next statements are clearly to the effect that they cannot farm their land because it is unsustainable for food production. We find this to be highly suspect given the fact that Kauai has sustained food production for centuries virtually over its entire surface and the soil is easily amended. If you can grow landscape plants and grass you can also grow crops.
Further these TVR owners claim to be a major source of employing people. However, we submit to you Sir, that these jobs are menial, and unsustainable. No one working for these TVR owners will be able to afford land themselves due to the fact that the owners are driving up land prices on Kauai to astronomical proportions, even in the current down economy.
Further, Mr. Mayor the creation of Visitor Destinations, or VDA were created for just such types of commercial activity that caters to the tourism industry. These types of operations take directly away from Hotels, smaller lodging facilities and other commercial operations that are operating legally out of the VDA.
It is inconsistant, and frankly just bad policy to allow some to obey the law, and others to be exempt from it.
By allowing certain businesses to operate certain types of operations in certain areas where other operations catering to the exact same type of clientelle (IE Transient Visitors) to not have an equitable opportunity to secure those clients is unfair. It hurts all of those businesses and their employees, and shows favoritism.
Also, another point is the issue of the matter of lawsuits against the county should these operators not be allowed their "due process", however we submit to you that not only will operators sue if they are not accepted and allowed to continue to operate, but that there will be numerous counter suits filed.
The best course of action we believe, would be to veto this bill, and go to the state legislature for clarity and a bill that would be far more equitable to all concerned. This current bill has had to be amended often, and has caused a large rift in our community. We beg you to reconsider picking up the pen that allows this, and refuse to sign this bill into law, then allow for a much better process and bill to proceed in the future.
The citizens of Kaua'i.
PLEASE DOWNLOAD THIS SIGN IT AND SEND IT TO THE MAYOR EITHER IN HARD COPY OR VIA EMAIL. THE PRESS MAY ALSO DOWNLOAD THIS FREELY.