New law charges tour companies for stops in Waimanalo

New law charges tour companies for stops in Waimanalo

WAIMANALO, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Waimanalo residents have dealt with an increasing amount of tourist traffic as spots like Waimanalo Bay Beach have increased in popularity — and tour companies are going to have to start paying for it.

A new law that went into effect Feb. 15 requires tour vehicles that take recreational stops in Waimanalo Bay Beach to pay a monthly permit fee of $165.

The permit fee under Bill 93 applies to all tour vehicles and vans that are registered with the Department of Parks and Recreation. The new law also limits the number of passengers vehicles can bring to 15 and tour companies can only hold five permits each.

"With more than 5.6 million visitors coming to O'ahu last year, residents who live on the Windward side of the island have seen the popularity of our parks increase to the point where commercial activity is impacting the enjoyment by local families," said Mayor Caldwell in a news release.

"This monthly permit fee is a common sense approach to help manage the activity at one of our most beautiful beach parks, and I hope it provides more balance for the local people who enjoy this tremendous resource."

The Parks and Recreation Department will be administering the new permit fee and is currently drafting rules for the program, which has already gone into effect.

City Councilman Ikaika Anderson, who represents Windward Oahu, introduced the bill last year.

"The Waimanalo community and I sincerely appreciate the efforts of the Department of Parks and Recreation and the Caldwell administration in working with us to develop this commonsense legislation to help provide for better management of these essential resources," Anderson.

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