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Saturday, April 27, 2024
Kayak Rental Co fined $35K for Blue Law Violations
By News Release @ 9:52 PM :: 1197 Views :: Small Business, Tourism

OHANA KAYAK RENTALS FINED $35,000 FOR COMMERCIAL USE VIOLATIONS

News Release from DLNR, April 26, 2024

(HONOLULU) – The Board of Land and Natural Resources (BLNR) today fined Janell Jensen, dba Ohana Kayak Rentals, for unpermitted commercial ocean use activity on at least five separate occasions within Kāneʻohe Bay waters. The board received numerous comments from people supporting the penalties.

Based on a DLNR Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation (DOBOR) staff recommendation, the BLNR imposed administrative fines totaling $35,000 for seven separate violations in 2023 and 2024.

DOBOR’s Oʻahu staff and officers with the DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE) observed Jensen offering and/or delivering for-hire, kayak rental equipment on multiple occasions, including on Sundays and federal holidays, without a valid commercial use permit (CUP). Hawai‘i Administrative Rules (HAR) require anyone conducting commercial activities in state ocean waters to have a valid CUP. Additionally, under HAR, all commercial ocean use activities in Kāne‘ohe Bay are prohibited on Sundays and federal holidays.

(Clue: We all know Sundays are holy days set aside in the Good Book, Silent Spring, for the worship of the Goddess Gaia.)

The DOBOR submittal stated that Jensen had full notice of the rules and regulations against providing kayaks for rent without a valid commercial permit. An October 2023 cease and desist letter sent by DOBOR, along with a citation issued by DOCARE, offered sufficient notification. “There is also substantial and well-documented evidence that Jensen continues to operate her business illegally, including complaints from community members highlighting traffic and safety concerns and other neighborhood disruptions,” staff wrote in the submittal.

The BLNR voted unanimously to impose the maximum fines for the repeated violations in order to curb any temptation to further violate statutes and rules laid out to protect state natural and cultural resources.

LINK: Photos

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LII: blue law | Wex | US Law | LII / Legal Information Institute (cornell.edu)

SA:  State fines kayak rental company $35K for violations at Kaneohe Bay  --  The company is owned by Janell Jensen, who testified that she runs the business from her home, but does not tell customers where to go with their rented kayaks, and that she was unable to get answers to her questions from the state.  Officers from DLNR’s Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement said she was observed offering and delivering kayak rental equipment to customers on multiple occasions, including on Sundays and federal holidays, without a valid commercial use permit.

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