HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Mayor Peter Carlisle signed Bill 54 into law Friday, which allows the city to remove personal property left on sidewalks, in parks, or on other public property.
"It is our responsibility to ensure that public property remains safe, clean and accessible to everyone," Carlisle said. "Obviously, there are significant problems in some public areas where personal belonging have accumulated and remained for long periods of time. That cannot continue."
On Wednesday, the Honolulu City Council voted 8-1 to approve the bill. The bill's sponsor, Councilwoman Tulsi Gabbard, says the bill was introduced out of a need to keep public spaces safe and accessible for all people.
The purpose of the bill is to prevent inappropriate storage of private property on public spaces. it applies equally to everyone, and does not target the homeless or any other specific population.
The city will continue to work with the state and with service providers to offer shelter and other assistance to those in need. While shelter and services are available, individuals cannot be forced to accept such assistance.
Advance notification will be provided before material is removed from public property, and material will be stored for at least 30 days to provide owners the opportunity to reclaim belongings.
We will have more on this story tonight on Hawaii News Now.