By AUDREY McAVOY
HONOLULU (AP) - Maui County is slapping a half-million dollar fine on the owner of a popular boutique hotel for several dozen alleged permit violations.
The county charges Paia Inn owner Michael Baskin illegally converted a garage and shed into bedrooms and rented more rooms than allowed.
Trip Advisor reviewers rate the 14-room establishment in the sugar plantation town of Paia among Maui's best hotels. Travel and Leisure has listed it among the nation's most romantic hotels.
The county is levying the fine as part of a settlement.
Baskin says he's not admitting wrongdoing, but he wants to resolve the issue to have as good a relationship as possible with the county and community. He says he's done his best to comply with a new vacation rental ordinance he believes is confusing and flawed.