Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell signed into law Monday measures that range from rezoning land in Waikiki to ensuring that homeowners who are renovating their homes don’t miss out on property tax exemptions.

Bill 57 rezones two blocks of land facing Kuhio Avenue between Kaiulani Avenue and Lilioukalani Avenue in Waikiki from “apartment precinct” to “apartment mixed-use sub-precinct” and “public precinct.”

City Seal

What does that mean in practical terms? According to the city Department of Planning and Permitting, private landowners and the city sought rezoning to open up the possibility of redeveloping the blocks for commercial use, although no specific development is yet planned.

Bill 58 amends the Waikiki Special District zoning map to take into account the changes in zoning along those blocks made by Bill 57.

Bill 64 requires the city to install solar photovoltaic systems at city buildings “to the extent practicable to meet the city’s electrical demand.” The measure was introduced by Council members Ann Kobayashi and Trevor Ozawa.

Ozawa also introduced Bill 66, which amends the real property tax law so that homeowners who aren’t living in their homes due to renovation can still get their homeowners’ tax exemptions for up to two years, as long as they don’t sell or rent out their property during that time.

Finally, Caldwell signed Bill 65 into law, which adopts the principles of the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women. Those principles involve protecting women and girls from sexual harassment and eliminating discrimination against women in city employment. While President Jimmy Carter signed the convention in 1980, the U.S. Senate has not, to date, ratified the treaty, leaving the United States as one of a minority of U.N. member countries that has not done so.

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