Hawai`i County Mayor Harry Kim issued an Emergency Proclamation on Tuesday over the Kona homeless crisis.
The proclamation comes on the heels of a sweep of Old Kona Airport Park, an area where a homeless encampment has been a major topic within the community.
According to Hawai`i County last week, all belongings and housing structures must be removed from the area by Wednesday.
Under an emergency proclamation certain laws may be suspended, including in this case a building code, a zoning code, and a fire code. These codes are being temporarily suspended for efforts to remove and place homeless individuals in temporary housing through the Hale Kikaha Project.
Emergency Proclamation in full:
WHEREAS, Chapter 127A Hawaii Revised Statutes, provides for the
establishment of County organizations for emergency management and disaster relief
with the Mayor having direct responsibility and authority over emergency management
within the County.
WHEREAS, Chapter 127A Hawaii Revised Statutes and Chapter 7, Articles 1
and 2 of the Hawaii County Code, establishes a Civil Defense Agency within the
County of Hawaii and prescribes its powers, duties, and responsibilities, and
Section 13- 23 of the Hawaii County Charter empowers the Mayor of the County to
declare emergencies; and
WHEREAS, homeless individuals have established an encampment at the
County of Hawaii’s Old Kona Airport Park, District of South Kona, County and State of
WHEREAS, the homeless individuals at the Old Kona Airport Park were removed
from the park grounds; and
WHEREAS, these homeless individuals could be temporarily sheltered at the
grounds of the Hale Kikaha Project located in the District of North Kona County and
State of Hawaii; and
WHEREAS, these unsheltered homeless individuals are without access to
adequate bathroom, shower and living facilities; and
WHEREAS, these unsheltered homeless individuals require health and social
services in order to maintain themselves safely and in reasonable health; and
WHEREAS, the lack of secure, safe and sanitary shelter, and adequate health
and social services for these homeless people is endangering the health, safety and
welfare of these people and pose a threat to the environment and public health, and
demands emergency action to prevent or mitigate suffering, injury, loss, or damage to
persons and property; and
County of Hawaii is an Equal Opportunity Provider and Employer
WHEREAS, pursuant to section 127A- 13( b)( 1) Hawaii Revised Statutes the
Mayor has the authority to relieve hardships and inequities, or obstructions to public
health, safety or welfare found by the Mayor to exist in the laws of the County and to
result from the operation of federal programs or measures taken under Chapter 127A
Hawai’ i Revised Statutes, by suspending the county laws, in whole or in part, or by
alleviating the provisions of county laws on such terms and conditions the Mayor may
WHEREAS, pursuant to section 127A- 13( b)( 2) Hawai’ i Revised Statutes the
Mayor has the authority to suspend any county law that impedes or tends to impede or
to be detrimental to the expeditious and efficient execution of, or to conflict with
emergency functions, including the laws by which Chapter 127A Hawai’ i Revised
Statutes, specifically are made applicable to emergency personnel; and
WHEREAS, due to the possibility of threat to the environment and public health
to residents of the District of South and North Kona, Hawaii Island, and the need for
government agencies and representatives from the private sector to mobilize and
provide immediate services to our island residents, a state of emergency is authorized
pursuant to Chapter 127A Hawai’ i Revised Statutes, and Chapter 7, Hawaii County
NOW, THEREFORE, I, HARRY KIM, Mayor of the County of Hawai’ i, do hereby
proclaim and declare that an emergency contemplated by section 127A- 14, Hawaii
Revised Statutes has occurred in the County of Hawai’ i and hereby proclaim an
emergency for the purposes of implementing the emergency management functions as
allowed by law, effective August 1, 2017, and continuing thereon for 60 days or until
further act by this office.
I FURTHER DECLARE, that pursuant to sections 127A- 13( b)( 1) and ( 2) the
following County laws are suspended during the emergency period as they relate to the
grounds of Hale Kikaha Project located in the District of North Kona, County and State
1. Chapter 5 Building Code.
2. Chapter 25 Zoning Code.
3. Chapter 26 Fire Code.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of
the County of Hawaii to be affixed. Done this 1st day of August, 2017 in Hilo, Hawai’ i.