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City Council OKs ban on 'sidewalk nuisances'

By GordonY.K. Pang

LAST UPDATED: 11:17 a.m. HST, Apr 17, 2013

A bill making it easier for the city to remove tents and other objects left on city sidewalks won final approval from the City Council this morning.

Bill 7 (2013) would replace the existing stored property ordinance, which allows the city to remove objects left on sidewalks if tagged 24 hours in advance.

Bill 7 would allow the city to summarily remove any items deemed nuisances. “Sidewalk nuisance” is defined in the bill as “any object or collection of objects constructed, erected, installed, maintained, kept or operated on or over any sidewalk, including but not limited to stalls, stands, tents, furniture, and containers, and of their contents or attachments.”

Mayor Kirk Caldwell said he intends to sign the bill.

Both the current law and Bill 7 are opposed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Hawaii and the group (de)Occupy Honolulu, who argue that the bill criminalizes homelessness and stifles free speech.

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