Windward community at odds over popular beach park overnight stays
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A Windward Oahu community is at odds over whether to close a popular park overnight to keep away homelessness and crime.
Unlike many beach parks on O’ahu that have limited hours of public access, Kailua Beach Park is open 24/7, except for its parking lot that closes at 10 p.m.
Some have enjoyed the freedom to come and go but others say it’s opened the door to illegal campers.
State Representative Lisa Marten who represents the area wants the city to impose an overnight closure so Honolulu police can clear out the area.
“Other parks for example are closed for some set of hours and people can still go into the water or go fish but the park itself is closed and that enables them to keep it from a place where people live,” said Marten.
HPD confirms the park is open to the public 24/7 and says officers periodically conduct enforcement for parking violations and illegal camping.
But that seems to be a gray area depending on the set up.
“As long as you don’t have four walls and a roof, it is not considering camping so people can stay here at they are not doing anything illegal,” added Marten.
The chair of the Kailua Neighborhood board said the idea of setting park hours has failed twice to get enough votes.
The city told Hawaii News Now they won’t change the hours unless the board asks for it.
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