HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A walk in the park will go on, afterall, for non-profits interested in holding events on most Honolulu city and county properties. It's a departure from a blanket law that took effect last summer - which banned commercial activity at hundreds of city and county parks.
This decision by Honolulu's new mayor reverses the ban, in most parks, that took effect under the previous, Peter Carlisle administration.
"An overly broad interpretation of legislation that was passed that year, last year, by the parks department is going to be rolled back," says current Honolulu Mayor, Kirk Caldwell.
That legislation - backed by Carlisle - was primarily launched to curb commercial activity, like kayaks and other bustling water sports, at Kailua and Kalama beach parks. But since the law took effect last July, non-profit groups complained that they were being shut out by the permitting process.
"Due to the broad interpretation of our bill by the Carlisle administration, we ran into some problems," says Honolulu City Council Vice-Chairman, Ikaika Anderson.
Organizers with events like the Haleiwa Arts Festival and the Wahiawa Pineapple Festival say they'd be unable to continue without access to the public parks. Caldwell sat down with city lawyers and says they agreed that the ban's interpretation was too wide in scope.
"My conclusion is that, in the Parks and Rec area, they read the law on commercial activity and thought it applied to all parks, and they were incorrect. And you know, perhaps they thought they were doing the right thing," says Caldwell.
The mayor says the commercial activity ban will continue to be enforced only at Kailua and Kalama beach parks.
As for the Wahiawa festival, it will go on but be postponed until August and the Haleiwa festival will run in July, as originally planned.