Council bill would ban sitting, lying on public sidewalks island wide

Council bill would ban sitting, lying on public sidewalks island wide

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A new bill before the Honolulu City Council would outlaw sitting and lying on public sidewalks across the entire island of Oahu.

Council members passed Bill 66 after the measure's first reading Tuesday.  Councilman Ernie Martin said it's not fair for some neighborhoods to be covered by the ban while others are not.

"I would argue it's time for us to assert a position on this particular matter that it's unacceptable, whether its a commercial area or residential area, it makes no difference," Ernie Martin said. "I think the people of the city and County of Honolulu are entitled to some private interest rights that should be protected."

In May, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell vetoed a similar measure because it involved non-commercial property in the ban.

Due to potential legal issues with that measure, Caldwell said, "Passage of Bill 20 may result in a challenge to the legitimacy of the Sit-Lie laws, which are clearly intended to maintain pedestrian access over sidewalks in business and commercial areas."

The passage of the measure comes a few weeks after the city began enforcing the sit-lie ban in Iwilei, clearing out dozens of homeless encampments along the cluttered sidewalks.

The sit-lie ordinance was first signed into law in 2014. Sitting and lying on sidewalks was first banned in Waikiki, and has since expanded to include areas such as Chinatown, Downtown, Ala Moana and Kapahulu.

A public hearing will be scheduled for a later date.

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