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Thu Jul 5, 2012, 02:48 AM

Beach barriers: Oceanfront property owners use vegetation--and deception--to thwart access

http://honoluluweekly.com/cover/2012/07/beach-barriers/ By Joan Conrow

Fisherman Lance Laney believed he was in the right, so stood his ground when three Kauai cops told him to leave, although by that time they really couldn’t make him, because he was standing on a public beach. But to get there, he had walked across a vacant blufftop parcel where billionaire Pierre Omidyar wants to develop an ultra-luxury “eco-resort” and 34 house lots overlooking Hanalei Bay.

It was not the first time Laney had used that route to reach a shoreline fishing spot, and he was certain it was a legal easement. So he kept on walking that day in early June when a security guard told him the pathway was private land. The guard called the cops, who threatened to arrest Laney for trespassing. Tempers cooled when one of the officers finally placed him: Laney, a longtime Hanalei contractor, is married to Public Utilities Commission Chair Hermina Morita, who championed access and shoreline protection issues during her tenure as a state representative. Laney says the cops informed him they’d been advised the easement was closed. “I told them, if you’re right, I won’t return,” he recalls. “But if you’re wrong, I’m going to keep coming back.”

Calling their bluff

Although he was new to searching public records, Laney tracked down county maps that showed a public easement across the land, and consulted an attorney. He made copies of the documents to carry with him, in case he is challenged again. “It’s just one piece of property after another that the developers buy up and close,” Laney says. “I’ve been here all my life. I’ve been watching this happen and I’ve never said a word, because I’ve been too busy with my business. But I did my homework on this one, and I’m going to exercise my right to use it.”

In an email to this reporter, Michelle Swartman, a Kauai representative for landowner Ohana Hanalei LLC, claimed that “the property has always been accessible” during the 18 months she’s been with the project. “pedestrian access exists and an unlocked gate, for pedestrians only, is passable,” Swartman wrote, adding that the police were called on Laney because “we ha not closed the loop with our security,” who have now been informed. Swartman added that she was trying to determine who left the citation on Laney’s car, noting, “We don’t have any parking policy. We have no rules.”


more at the link...

Queen Lili'uokalani protected the public's ownership of our beaches, bless her forever.

7 replies, 2500 views

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Reply Beach barriers: Oceanfront property owners use vegetation--and deception--to thwart access (Original post)
mahina Jul 2012 OP
msongs Jul 2012 #1
mahina Jul 2012 #2
SunSeeker Jul 2012 #3
mahina Jul 2012 #4
SunSeeker Jul 2012 #6
TreasonousBastard Jul 2012 #5
dixiegrrrrl Jul 2012 #7

Response to mahina (Original post)

Thu Jul 5, 2012, 03:25 AM

1. cheated, gouged, and screwed by incompetent bloated government and corporations lol nt

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Response to msongs (Reply #1)

Thu Jul 5, 2012, 03:42 AM

2. No,

not really. DLNR is hardly bloated. It's horrendously under funded for the work we expect of it. Bill Aila, head of DLNR, is a gem and the people in the department work their hearts out. I am not related to any of them but I am not kidding. Taking care of the aina is what they are all about. Their budgets have been slashed.

SOEST's Dr. Chip Fletcher is another really good egg. http://www.soest.hawaii.edu/coasts/index.html

So yeah...no.

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Response to mahina (Original post)

Thu Jul 5, 2012, 04:07 AM

3. I'm so glad California has a strong Coastal Commission

If it were not for the California Coastal Commission, those asshole billionaires in Malibu would prevent us from accessing our beach.

According to the Commission, "the state of California owns... the land seaward... of what is called the mean high tide line." This is very similar to the public ownership of beaches in Hawaii. However, here, the Commission makes sure we have access to our beaches, and posts these familiar "Coastal Access" signs so you can spot the access points from the road.



In fact, if it is a long-established trail to the beach, the Commission can have the California Attorney General go to court to have a legally binding public easement set up there so no future landowners can block the trail.

http://www.coastal.ca.gov/access/prc-access.html

Hawaii's Attorney General should have similar powers.

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Response to SunSeeker (Reply #3)

Thu Jul 5, 2012, 04:57 AM

4. I'll say!

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Response to mahina (Reply #4)

Thu Jul 5, 2012, 11:52 AM

6. Well, at least you had Queen Lili'uokalani!

Good thing she had the wisdom to preserve Hawaii's most valuable treasure for its people. As much as I love the beaches here in California, they're nothing like the paradise beaches of Hawaii.

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Response to mahina (Original post)

Thu Jul 5, 2012, 09:45 AM

5. We have the same problem here on Long island, NY...

Riparian rights go back to colonial patents, and say essentially that a waterfront property owner's rights pretty much stop at the high tide mark. (That's not always true, but close enough for this discussion)

Naturally, people being the sorry-ass pricks that they are, there are huge arguments over just where the high tide mark is and barriers have been set up by some property owners to stop anyone from even trying.

Granted that some property owners are properly pissed that assholes are setting off fireworks on the beach, or driving Jeeps over piping plover nests, others are just plain mean.

And it all keeps the courts busy.

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Response to TreasonousBastard (Reply #5)

Thu Jul 5, 2012, 12:29 PM

7. Rising seas will address that issue before long..yep.

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