Monday, February 12, 2001
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Posted on: Monday, February 12, 2001

Councilman's stand doesn't make sense

Honolulu City Councilman John Henry Felix says he is standing up for principle in his refusal to back down from his home wedding business in the face of continuing citations and fines from the city’s Department of Planning and Permitting.

But what principle?

Felix insists his business, which generated $100,000 or more last year, is a legal home business similar to those that teach swimming or hula or care for children.

He says he continues to fight the Zoning Department not just to defend his rights, but the rights of other home businesses.

In fact, he says the cost of litigation and expert consultants has wiped out any profit he might have made.

All of this would be fine if Felix were a private citizen. But he is not. He is a member of the Honolulu City Council, the body that passes the zoning laws and demands that they be enforced.

It may turn out that the law is wrong and Felix is right. But in the meantime, he continues to resist and ignore a land-use law as interpreted by the Department of Planning and Permitting.

That puts Councilman Felix in a terrible position if he expects his fellow citizens to obey other laws passed by the Council.

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