New laws address affordable rental lease extensions, Honolulu Zoo sponsorships

Local News

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell signed into law Thursday three bills that were passed by the Honolulu City Council on Oct. 7.

Bill 25 (2015) CD2, relating to the Honolulu Zoo.

Introduced by Councilmember Kymberly Marcos Pine, this new law will allow limited sponsorships of Honolulu Zoo exhibits and facilities by philanthropic organizations.

“This will be an opportunity for us to raise funds for the zoo, so that we can ensure the future of our animals and preserve the exhibits for our keiki,” said Councilmember Pine.

The bill was supported by Honolulu Zoo Society President Paul Dyson, who testified that the bill “will create an alternative revenue stream that will increase the city’s ability to improve the Honolulu Zoo and to provide enhanced levels of service and maintenance beyond the core levels funding through the annual city budget.” He also noted that “the sponsorship approach has become a customary practice throughout the United States.”

Bill 55 (2015) CD2, relating to affordable rental housing leases

Introduced by Councilmember Ron Menor, the purpose of this ordinance is to allow the lessee of rental housing for low-moderate income persons to request lease extensions from the city if certain conditions are met.

“I am gratified that the Mayor has signed this Bill into law because it will enable developers to obtain the necessary financing to rehabilitate affordable housing projects on City owned land,” said Councilmember Menor. “This will promote the City’s important goal of preserving existing affordable rental inventory on this island.”

A number of affordable housing developers and managers voiced their strong support for the bill. Non-profit EAH Housing Vice President Kevin R. Carney, Ahe Group President Makani Maeva, and Standard Commercial Managing Partner Ian Clagstone all testified that it “will encourage and support the rehabilitation and investment in affordable housing on City owned land at no cost to the city.”

Bill 60 (2015) CD1, relating to parades

Authored by the Caldwell Administration Department of Transportation Services, the bill amends the rules governing parade applications in Waikiki to allow the city to equitably designate and regulate legacy parades.

The bill was strongly supported by Honolulu Festival Foundation President Tsukasa Harufuku. Honolulu Festival brings in over 5,000 visitors and generates over $10 million in visitor spending annually, but prior to this new law the festival’s parade was not considered a “legacy parade” and was forced to compete in a lottery every year.

President Harufuku testified that the old rules created “uncertainty for the Festival organizers, for should we lose the bid, we lose the most important part of the festival.” Under the new law, the Honolulu Festival is now considered a “legacy parade.”

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