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Mayor approves ban on certain commercial activities at Windward parks

Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi signed a measure into law Tuesday that bans unregulated commercial activity in city parks from Waimanalo to Makapuu.
Published: Apr. 5, 2022 at 3:07 PM HST|Updated: Apr. 5, 2022 at 5:30 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Despite protests from the pandemic-battered wedding industry, Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi signed a measure into law Tuesday that bans unregulated commercial activity in city parks from Waimanalo to Makapuu.

Bill 38 prohibits certain commercial activities, including professional photography, and came out of a push by community members to reclaim city park beaches from tour groups and companies.

But Oahu’s wedding industry said the measure hurts them, too.

“We are both disappointed and devastated by Mayor Blangiardi’s decision to sign Bill 38 into law,” says Joseph Esser, Oahu Wedding Association president.

“This blanket ban overtly discriminates against local, small businesses that operate in public places, yet exempts big, mainland production studios at these same locations.”

Under the law, they note, commercial activity such as maternity shoots, graduation photos, family photos, proposals, engagements, photographing merchandise for retail aren’t permitted.

In a statement, Blangiardi said he signed the measure because of concerns about commercial activities at some parks. He also acknowledged that Bill 38 alone would not address them.

“The Honolulu City Council and the Department of Land and Natural Resources need to come up with an enforceable and fair regulatory system,” he said, “that will respect and honor the rights of local residents, protect our natural resources and establish a balanced system that allows local businesses to operate, grow and employ local residents under transparent and fair guidelines.”

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