Honolulu City Councilwoman Kymberly Pine introduced this week a bill to track and report annually the impact of “rapidly rising” visitor arrivals on Oahu, and to consider policy solutions.

But on Tuesday, Pine, chairwoman of the Honolulu City Council Committee on Business Economic Development and Tourism, postponed voting on the bill until next month.

Justin Gruenstein, deputy director for the city’s Office of Climate Change, Sustainability and Resiliency, said it would be “impossible” to meet the requirements of the bill due to lack of staffing.

Honolulu City Council Kymberly Pine development hearing.
Honolulu City Council Kymberly Pine in January 2018. Cory Lum/Civil Beat

City officials are increasingly concerned about the fast pace of tourism growth.

It includes passing recent legislation to crack down on the proliferation of unregulated short-term vacation rentals.

When she introduced her bill, Pine said in a press release, “We have to understand how more visitors arriving on Oahu impacts our environment, our infrastructure, public safety and all of our core County services. Policies must be revised or created to balance the needs of our largest industry with the unique culture and environment that we enjoy.”

She added, “It’s the only way to keep Hawaii, Hawaii.”

Read Civil Beat’s related series, “Tourism’s Tipping Point.”

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