City Council approves commercial activity ban at East Oahu beaches

The Honolulu City Council voted 7-2 in favor of a bill that would impose a ban on commercial activity at Kailua Beach Park and nearby Kalama Beach Park on the windward coast of Oahu, according to a July 12 Honolulu Star Advertiser report.

The bill was created in response to Kailua residents’ complaints about the parks being overrun by tourism-related businesses bringing kayakers, kiteboarders and other watersport enthusiasts to the beach in busloads, the newspaper said.

“Tourists are still able to come to Kailua Beach Park by car, by city bus,” Councilman Ikaika Anderson, author of the bill, said in the Star Advertiser report. “They’re still able to rent recreational watercraft. They’ll just have to be able to get those watercraft to the beach under their own power.”

Although the bill still requires final approval from Honolulu city Mayor Peter Carlisle, the seven council member votes in favor are enough to override a veto, according to the report.

A bill banning commercial activity at both Kailua and Kalama Beach Parks from 1 p.m. Saturdays to 6:30 a.m. Mondays, passed by the city council in 2011, took effect July 1 of this year. The new bill would ban the activity 24/7.

The Star Advertiser said opponents of the proposed complete ban, which include a number of windward Oahu kayak tour operators, believe the Honolulu city council should have taken more time to analyze the affect of the recent weekend restrictions at the beaches before moving forward with the new bill.
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