Judge rules against Felix
in wedding-business fight

By Debra Barayuga

City Councilman John Henry Felix has lost another round -- this time in court -- in his fight to hold wedding ceremonies on a property he purchased in Aina Haina.

Circuit Judge Eden Hifo ruled yesterday in favor of the city, which has argued that weddings violate zoning regulations because they are a commercial activity in a residential district. However, yesterday's ruling may still permit weddings to be held at the home, Felix' attorney says.

"Our understanding of the judge's ruling is it allows Mr. Felix to make changes to the property that would make it possible for weddings to be held," said attorney Lex Smith.

Felix had appealed to the Circuit Court the Zoning Board of Appeals' October 2001 ruling that weddings are not permissible under the land use ordinance.

"Our position was this was a home occupation," Smith said. "The people engaged in this activity reside on the premises, and it's permitted under the land use ordinance."

Smith said based on Hifo's ruling, they would not be in violation if all those participating in the home occupation live in the same dwelling.

There are two structures on the property. Some of those participating in the wedding business live in one structure and some in the other, Smith said. They intend to review the written order before deciding what to do next, he said.

Because of Felix' appeal, the Zoning Board's order that Felix stop the weddings has been on hold.

City officials and their attorneys could not be reached for comment.

E-mail to City Desk


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