Friday, December 21, 2007
Reader David Peterson pointed me in the direction of a series of news articles on an interesting beach access dispute in Hawaii. From an overview article in the Star Bulletin:
Some beachgoers are upset that a gate was installed on a private road in Kailua that blocks access to Kailua Beach Park.
A "no beach access" sign was placed at the entrance of L'Orange Place when the gate was installed a month ago. . . .
Some mornings, Dianne Price would find used condoms on her mock orange bushes.
Some nights at 2 a.m., large groups would walk down her lane to build bonfires on Kailua Beach.
Those and other concerns led the residents of L'Orange Place to put up a locked gate blocking their private road. That was a month ago.
Some beachgoers are now complaining about the loss of convenient access.
"It seems, at best, unneighborly," said Ben Willkie, a Kainui Drive resident who had used the route at least once a week to head to the beach with his wife, Veronica, and 5-year-old son. . . .
"There are a lot of people alarmed by this," said Robert Moncrief, a resident since 1970. "I think this whole thing is a travesty. ... They're excluding all these people."
The Moncriefs said they fear more gates will be installed at other private side streets along Kalaheo Avenue, further blocking access to the beach.
"It's going to start this chain of reaction of exclusivity," he said.
City Council Chairwoman Barbara Marshall, who represents District 3 (Waimanalo-Kaneohe), said that while it is frustrating for beachgoers, the residents are within their rights.
"It's a private beach access owned by the adjacent homeowners," she said.
Homeowners who allow public access receive a tax break. L'Orange Place residents had opted to pay additional taxes when the gate was installed, she added.
There is another public access route about 200 yards away, near Kailuana Street.
The dispute is discussed in this op-ed, and in this follow-up article. Some useful discussion of the issue can also be found at the Beach Access Hawaii website. I'll defer substantive discussion to our resident Aloha Jurisprudence experts, Al Brophy and Carl Christensen.
Photo from Wikipedia Commons
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