June 13, 2024


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Bill 38 is now law, but enforcing commercial activities rules at parks could be tough

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi signed off on Bill 38 this week, but questions remain on how exactly it will be enforced.

The bill bans most commercial activity, including weddings, photo shoots and tour stops, at East Oahu city beach parks from Waimanalo to Makapuu.

However, the state Department of Land and Natural Resources can issue “wiki permits” for those seeking a beach wedding or vow renewal on state shorelines.

Blangiardi has called on the city Department of Parks and Recreation and DLNR to come up with a regulatory system, but supporters and opponents of Bill 38 wonder how the gray area will be cleared.

“When you create terminology that is unclear like a high water mark, shoreline, that leaves room for interpretation,” said local wedding officiant Kawena Opunui.

“I do think that it causes confusion between people in my industry who are all wanting to do things that are pono, that are right. but are unclear as to what is allowable.”

Lifelong Waimanalo resident Kuike Kamakea-Ohelo is a staunch supporter of Bill 38 and acknowledges that city and state officials face a big challenge in making sure the bill is regulated.

“What does enforcement look like? That’s a big issue,” Kamakea-Ohelo said.

“The community has expressed our concerns and our voices has been heard and Bill 38 is now law. We’ll see what next steps the city government and the state department will take.”

As discussions over enforcement unfold, the DLNR is asking the public to report unpermitted groups who are violating the ban.

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