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Blangiardi vetoes Waikīkī noise amplification bill

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Cory Lum
/
Civil Beat

Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi has vetoed a bill that would have limited amplified noise in Waikīkī, according to a Nov. 22 letter to the City Council.

The ordinance would have restricted the use of speakers and other noise amplifiers to certain hours of the day, and require them to be farther than 30-feet from homes and hotels.

In the letter, Blangiardi said the bill would be unenforceable, citing concerns from Honolulu Prosecutor Steve Alm and the Honolulu Police Department.

“Unfortunately, given strong concerns and a veto recommendation by the Department of the Prosecuting Attorney (the Prosecutor's Office), I am vetoing Bill 43 (2021), FD1, and respectfully requesting Council work directly with the Prosecutor's Office and the Honolulu Police Department on language that resolves credible concerns with enforcement of the bill,” Blangiardi wrote.

The bill was introduced in November 2021 by Chair Tommy Waters, who represents the district. The bill has been passionately fought for by the Waikīkī Neighborhood Board. On Monday, Board Chair Bob Finley said the group has been working to get a bill to address noise for the last five years.

“We'd been working with the council and the police department, we thought we had language that was enforceable, but after the bill passed in the City Council, the prosecutor and the police department came up with some flaws, they said that make it unenforceable,” Finley said Monday.

Finley says he's hopeful a similar, enforceable bill can be introduced in the future.

“We're all kind of a team, actually on this between the mayor, the City Council, and neighborhood board," Finley said. "Our goal is to reduce the amount of noise in Waikīkī at night, so that our residents can sleep and so that our businesses can remain open and be able to speak to their customers without screaming.”

Sabrina Bodon is a general assignment reporter at Hawaiʻi Public Radio. Contact her at sbodon@hawaiipublicradio.org or 808-792-8252.
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