Sidewalk sweep of homeless to begin in July

Enforcement of new sidewalk nuisance law to begin July 1

 UPDATED 7:03 AM HST Jul 01, 2013
HONOLULU -

"Compassionate disruption." That's what Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell is calling his plan to remove homeless from city sidewalks.

Bill 7 became law more than two months ago, and the administration was forced to create new administrative rules before enforcement of the city's new sidewalk nuisance law could begin.

With those rules in place this Saturday, enforcement will begin Monday on July 1.

The major difference in the new law is that the city is no longer required to give 24 hours notice before removing tents and other items from sidewalks.

The new ordinance also charges a $200 fee if you want your property back within 30 days.

The law was the result of the deOccupy movement at Thomas Square, but there are many more areas for the city to tackle -- behind the Hawaii Convention Center, near the John A. Burns School of Medicine and A'ala Park, to name a few.

"We're going to go to the places where we've received a lot of complaints. No one area is going to be targeted," said Mayor Kirk Caldwell. "We'll do it broadly. We're going to the areas with the largest problems first and then work it from there."

"I've been told continuously that our shelters do, in fact, have dozens of beds available on any given night to shelter those folks who need the shelter," said Councilman Ikaika Anderson.

The ACLU of Hawaii has come out against the new law saying, "...enforcement will likely result in violations of the First, Fourth, and Fourteenth Amendments."'

The mayor says the city will follow the letter of the law to make sure property confiscation is being done correctly in case there is a legal challenge.

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