- Associated Press - Wednesday, October 8, 2014

HONOLULU (AP) - The author of a bill that would ban sitting and lying on sidewalks in Oahu business districts outside Waikiki wants to pull the measure back for further work.

Councilman Ron Menor said the latest draft of the bill includes too many zones that either are not truly business districts or otherwise might not be affected by sidewalk dwellers, The Honolulu Star-Advertiser (https://bit.ly/1pRvmmW) reported.

These factors could result in the bill not being able to pass constitutional muster, Menor said.

Council Chairman Ernie Martin has indicated he will support his request for a deferral, Menor said. He expects the bill to return to the Honolulu City Council at its November meeting.

The bill makes it a petty misdemeanor to sit or lie down on public sidewalks from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily in “areas zoned for commercial and business activities.”

The measure is patterned after Seattle’s sit-lie ordinance, which affects areas in that city’s downtown business sections.

A 24-hour, Waikiki-only sit-lie bill became law Sept. 16 after Mayor Kirk Caldwell signed it.

The number of Oahu neighborhoods to be included in Menor’s broader Oahu “sit-lie” bill has increased as council members have added areas to meet constituent concerns.

Menor’s original bill listed six zones where the sit-lie ban would apply. Following the September committee meeting, the bill called for 14 zones in 11 regions. They included Chinatown, downtown, McCully-Moiliili, Kailua, Waipahu, Kalihi, Haleiwa, Wahiawa, Kaneohe, Waimanalo and Ala Moana-Sheridan.

The same homeless advocates who opposed the Waikiki bill have voiced the same strong objections to the islandwide bill.

Kathryn Xian, executive director of the nonprofit Pacific Alliance to Stop Slavery, told council members in an email Tuesday that sit-lie bans are ineffective and just push people into different districts.

Menor wants to draft legislation that’s narrowly focused on commercial and business areas where the obstruction of public sidewalks is a problem.

He also wants Caldwell’s administration to show that there is adequate shelter space to house those who might move off the streets.


Information from: Honolulu Star-Advertiser, https://www.staradvertiser.com

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