City Council passes Sit-Lie ban for Downtown and Chinatown malls - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

City Council passes Sit-Lie ban for Downtown and Chinatown malls

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Honolulu City Council's 6 to 2 vote passed Bill 62. It bans sitting and lying down on four malls that are bordered by businesses.

"The goal in this bill is to harmonize the whole of downtown Honolulu and Chinatown," councilwoman Carol Fukunaga said.

The measure applies to Sun Yat Sen and Kekaulike malls in Chinatown, where business owners complain that homeless use the mall as a bathroom and gathering place.

"Some will just sit in the middle of it. It's hard for us to truck our goods over from our refrigerator to the stalls," Kekaulike Mall merchant Paul Min said.

Fort Street Mall and Union Mall are also covered. The law would make it illegal for Clare Sloan and anyone else to sit on the planters or lie down in doorways and on the mall. Sloan spends much of her day at Union Mall.

"Most of us are just trying to either sleep or rest or whatever," Sloan said. "I think that it's wrong."

The bill's final draft excludes the mall at College Walk.

"To make sure the bill was solid, it has to be in areas where there really is a lot of business going on. And College Walk does not have the same type of business activity that we would see on a Fort Street Mall or Union Mall or Kekaulike Mall," Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell said.

"As I have done with all sit-lie measures, including this measure, I will be voting no," councilman Brandon Elefante said.

Elefante and councilwoman Kymberly Pine voted no. Fukunaga authored the bill.

"Our goal is we've got to get people off the street into appropriate housing and services," she said.

The Sit-Lie mall ban covers the four malls during business hours Monday through Friday. It's a seven-day ban on Kekaulike Mall.

"I'm praying and I hope it becomes law," Min said.

Since the city instituted sit-lie bans in Waikiki and other business districts, Honolulu police have issued 556 warnings and 85 citations.   They have made 2 arrests. Police issued 13 citations and 2 arrests for urinating and defecating in public.

Bill 62 now goes to the city's lawyers. Caldwell said barring any legal concerns he will sign it into law.

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