No tents, no drones, no smoking: HCDA eyes long list of proposed rules for Kakaako parks

No tents, no drones, no smoking: HCDA eyes long list of proposed rules for Kakaako parks

KAKAAKO (HawaiiNewsNow) - William Olsen and his friends have been gathering at Kakaako Waterfront Park since it opened more than two decades ago.

But the homeless problem in the area has kept them away.

"It was easy for us because the restroom was right there," Olsen said. "But now we don't go there because of the homeless take over the spot. They're squatting over here you know."

The Hawaii Community Development Authority, which manages the area, is now looking to address the problem with a long list of stricter rules for its five Kakaako parks. If the rules are passed, abandoned property would be removed, it would be illegal to camp in the park and tents would be banned.

Garett Kamemoto, HCDA spokesman, said the new rules are about safety and ensuring everyone can enjoy the public space.

"We don't want (tent) staking in the ground," he said. "This park was a landfill and there is a membrane to keep the toxic element below the membrane."

Also under the new proposed rules, animals would have to be on a leash in the parks, and smoking, e-cigarettes, hoverboards and drones would be banned. Doing laundry in the park or accessing its electricity would also be against the new regulations.

Violators could face fines between $50 and $500. And if you're a repeat offender, you could be banned from the park for a year.

Parkgoer Bryan Corpuz supports the tougher rules.

'"Yeah, it would be a good idea," Corpuz said. "Should have been in place a long time ago."

But some parkgoers believe the new rules are a ploy to push the homeless elsewhere.

"It's kind of like they just want them out of sight out of mind. But they still exist," said one man, who didn't identify himself.

Also under the proposal, HCDA could hire its own private security to enforce the rules.

"The way the rules are defined it would be a law enforcement officer or an agent of the HCDA," Kamemoto said.

A public hearing still has to take place before any of these rule changes can go into effect.

For the full list of proposed rules, click here.

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