New law prohibits commercial tour company stops along east Oahu coastline

Effective immediately, commercial activity is being shut down along most of the eastern Oahu coastline from Makapu’u to Kailua.

The city law that passed Friday prohibits stops by commercial tour companies at beaches, parks, rights-of-way and easements, including Waimanalo Beach Park, Makapu’u and Bellows.

It also limits this activity at Waimanalo Bay Beach Park on the weekends and holidays.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell chose to allow the bill to become law without his signature over legal concerns. But Windward Oahu councilman Ikaika Anderson, who authored a similar bill for Kailua, says while tourism is important, island residents should come first.

“What we really need to be able to do is regulate this industry, so that we are not sacrificing the rights of our residents to be able to utilize the beach park in favor of those who looking to make a dollar. Don’t get me wrong, I understand the tourism industry is our number one economy, I get that.”

Critics of the ban say it won’t solve the problem of clogged streets and will only make problems worst for other parts of the island.

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