A day after we were told no permit was required for a parking lot party in Kakaako, the state says the landowner should have at least received permission.
Police tell us the decision was made to shut it down.
The Honolulu Police Department received dozens of complaints as the Saturday night party lasted into early Sunday morning.
Several officers went to the scene, but area residents told us they didn’t stop the party.
The property owner told us Tuesday that no laws were broken by allowing the party to happen.
Honolulu police also said no permits were required, which is why the party was able to continue.
Now, we’re hearing something different.
Honolulu police estimated that a crowd of up to 500 people crowded the parking lot right next to the Pacifica building, which is mostly residential.
Video taken by the building’s security at around 1 a.m. showed the party still going strong.
Honolulu City Councilwoman Ann Kobayashi says residents are concerned that more of these will happen in Kakaako because HPD couldn’t stop it last time.
The property owner said it couldn’t be stopped because the area is zoned for business, but Kobayashi says city law disagrees.
“The noise can be controlled,” she said. “Then the police can go and do something about it, but with HCDA, I don’t know what their rules are.”
That created part of the confusion, because the parking lot is under Hawaii Community Development Authority, but the executive director says it only has jurisdiction over zoning and land use laws.
“Noise ordinances, street closure permits on county city roads, crimes, all those types of public health and safety enforcement that the city does is not under HCDA’s power or authority,” said HCDA executive director Jesse Souki.
Souki says that the property owner was supposed to get permission first before having an event like what happened on Saturday night, and HCDA would not have allowed it.
When we asked HPD about it on Tuesday, a spokeswoman sent us a statement saying that because it occurred on private property in a commercial zone, a permit was not required.
Residents wondered why the party was allowed to continue even after officers arrived.
On Wednesday, a spokeswoman said:
“The responding officers did determine that the noise was excessive, and due to the crowd’s size and activity, the decision was made to close the event and disperse the crowd. There were serious concerns that the crowd of approximately 500 persons could turn on the police officers, hurt other concert goers, and damage the surrounding buildings and cars. As a result, the officers had to wait for additional units to arrive so that they could respond in a way that minimized the risk to life and property. Moving such a large crowd out of the area safely took time, and we are glad that there were no injuries and property damage reported. We understand the residents’ concerns, and we hope that they’ll understand that safety was the primary concern that night.”
The landowner told us Wednesday that he was mistaken, and will work with HCDA and area residents before holding any other event in the property.