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Kokua Line

City ordinance prohibits signs within public sidewalk areas


QUESTION: I’ve just returned from the downtown post office, and on both makai corners of Merchant and Richards streets are large metal "tent" signs on the sidewalk mentioning an open house down the block. One was by the post office, and one in front of a golf shop. Farther down, at the corner of Richards and Queen streets, there’s another sign. At the end of the block in front of Harbor Square, there’s a fourth sign on the median. I don’t begrudge someone trying to sell something, but it looks trashy and we’re seeing so much more of it now, especially on weekends. Can’t something be done?

ANSWER: An inspector from the city Department of Planning and Permitting was assigned to follow up on your complaint.

Chapter 12 of the Revised Ordinances of Honolulu "specifically prohibits the placement and use of signs within the public sidewalk area," said Art Challacombe, customer services manager for the department. "These signs are considered unauthorized encroachments within a public way."

Meanwhile, Chapter 21 of the Revised Ordinances (the Land Use Ordinance) prohibits the use of "portable signs" that are not placed on the premises involved or otherwise permitted under the ordinance, he said.

QUESTION: I have a concern about the use of the public tennis courts, especially the ones at Lehua Community Park and Central Oahu Regional Park. I have noticed private lessons are being given by a group of instructors on a weekly/monthly basis at these locations. How can anyone be running a personal business on city property for money and monopolizing the use of the courts?

ANSWER: Personal, private lessons are not allowed.

However, the city Department of Parks and Recreation does allow "limited commercial use" of city parks, said Craig Mayeda, administrator of Parks Maintenance and Recreation Services.

The department’s rules and regulations state that "the people of the City and County of Honolulu have determined that certain commercial activities, which are generally recreational in nature, may be allowed in limited numbers and under controlled conditions within selected park areas under the management and control of the Department of Parks and Recreation."

Mayeda said that the department has an agreement with the United States Tennis Association to provide group lessons at the Patsy T. Mink Central Oahu Regional Park tennis courts, as well as other courts around Oahu.

"If an individual sees private lessons, then it is not part of this approved program," Mayeda said. If that’s the case, he said, you can call 911 to report the violation.

Park rules and regulations can be found at


To Tripler Army Medical Center police Lt. Rod Dela Cueva for locating a decomposing, foul-smelling wild pig on the mountainside of Tripler near our homes in Moanalua Valley. He expedited the work order for cleanup the next day. Mahalo also to Denise of Tripler hospital, for directing me to the department responsible for the disposal and called me when it was completed, as well as the two men from the U.S. Army Department of Public Works (I was so happy to see them, I forgot to get their names) for bagging and disposing of the deteriorating pig. They pulled the weeds surrounding the pig and disinfected the area. Excellent job! We really appreciate it. — Residents of Ala Aoloa Loop

Write to "Kokua Line" at Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu 96813; call 529-4773; fax 529-4750; or e-mail


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