Ruling straps Ka'anapali vendor
By Timothy Hurley
Advertiser Maui County Bureau
WAILUKU, Maui In a ruling that could have far-reaching consequences, a Maui judge ordered a Ka'anapali Beach equipment rental vendor to stop conducting business on the beach.
Dave Flavin of Maui Beach Club rentals yesterday was served with an order from 2nd Circuit Judge Joseph Cardoza that prohibits him and his employees from soliciting business on the beach, exchanging money, storing equipment overnight, posting signs that say "rentals" and displaying his gear.
While the ruling on a May lawsuit filed by three condominium owners at The Whaler specifically names Flavin's operation, it may provide a precedent to prevent other vendors from conducting business in the same way.
Flavin said yesterday that he was being unfairly singled out and that he would appeal the ruling.
"In my eyes I have broken no laws," he said. "This is a very big injustice."
Cardoza was the same judge who, in a 2001 lawsuit filed by the Ka'anapali Beach Resort Association, ordered Flavin and a second beach vendor to remove signs advertising their services. But little has changed since then and, in fact, more vendors than ever are plying the West Maui resort's famous beach.
This time, Cardoza's ruling appears to be more specific.
While the order doesn't prevent Flavin and his employees from setting up a tent on the beach, it implies that rental deals have to be conducted away from the shore and says the company would have to find a way not to "display" on the beach its kayaks, boats, beach chairs, cabanas, surfboards, boogie boards and beach umbrellas.
The order also prohibits Flavin from anchoring his water trampolines closer than 200 feet from the shoreline, and bars him from storing equipment on the beach overnight without the written approval of the state Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation.
Flavin said he would not be removing his equipment from the beach. Instead, he was finalizing a deal yesterday to sell the equipment to a new operator, he said.
He wouldn't say who the new operator is, and when asked if the deal provides for returning the equipment to Flavin after the situation is resolved, he replied: "No comment."
Isaac Hall, attorney for the condominium owners, said Flavin can't avoid a court order by simply selling his equipment. Such an order, he said, is enforceable against anyone to whom he transfers interest.
"He's just headed for contempt proceedings," Hall said.
The state, meanwhile, recently approved a new set of rules that aims to bring order to the commercial activity on Ka'anapali Beach. But the new permit mandated by the rules has yet to be announced.