Beach ownership is still in question - Hawaii News

The Intermediate Court of Appeals is scrutinizing a Hawaii law passed in 2003 that declares that new, naturally formed beach land above the high-water mark should belong to the public -- not adjoining private property owners. Full Story
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enufalready

Kihei, HI

#1 Nov 30, 2009
What this most clearly elucidates is how lacking in foresight were the rules that allowed individuals to "own" the beachfront. Would have been far wiser to have deemed all the beachfront lands as public property and so to have avoided the present day bounty that the rich enjoy as the wage slaves enjoy less and less access to beaches. What with all the private gates, the illegally nurtured vegetation, shorefront armoring, and other types of landgrabbing, the beaches are steadily becoming the property of the wealthy, whose greed is unlimited.
Close HTA

Kalaheo, HI

#2 Nov 30, 2009
This Pond scum attorney should be ashamed of himself for trying to fleece the taxpayers like this and steal the public beach.

I hope he and the rich greedy people he represents lose.
Portlock Thieves

Kalaheo, HI

#3 Nov 30, 2009
The thieving Portlock owners next to the jetty have planted grass right on the beach where you have to turn around or cut across their lawn.

This is clearly illegal and we need State enforcement to stop these rich bullies from stealing the beach.
glenn paul

Johnson City, NY

#4 Nov 30, 2009
enufalready wrote:
What this most clearly elucidates is how lacking in foresight were the rules that allowed individuals to "own" the beachfront. Would have been far wiser to have deemed all the beachfront lands as public property and so to have avoided the present day bounty that the rich enjoy as the wage slaves enjoy less and less access to beaches. What with all the private gates, the illegally nurtured vegetation, shorefront armoring, and other types of landgrabbing, the beaches are steadily becoming the property of the wealthy, whose greed is unlimited.
enufalready. Totally agree with you. Free access to Hawaiis beaches are a huge plus for everyone. Everyone should have access to the beaches...and...beach-walks to the beaches MUST BE MAINTAINED. You people in hawaii don't want what we go through to go to the beaches in NJ. Pay to park, check parking meters every30 minutes or a 15 dollar ticket. Last time we went, had to pay 10 dollars each to get on the beach. As a tourist we really enjoyed stopping at a beach. In fact, we were told the beaches belong to everyone. Keep it that way. Aloha from Northeast PA.
DLNR DONT CARE

Kalaheo, HI

#5 Nov 30, 2009
Portlock Thieves wrote:
The thieving Portlock owners next to the jetty have planted grass right on the beach where you have to turn around or cut across their lawn.
This is clearly illegal and we need State enforcement to stop these rich bullies from stealing the beach.
DLNR wont enforce the law of them planting grass on the public beach when it comes to these folks. Laws that apply to the rest of us dont get enforced when you have money.
mark

Kalaheo, HI

#6 Nov 30, 2009
This is the craziest lawsuit and should be thrown out! Obviously if its new land then the high water mark has risen and the beach front people dont have a leg to stand on.

New Land doesnt just appear out of thin air.
We do

Honolulu, HI

#8 Nov 30, 2009
The old Zimring case pretty much decides this question.

Since the days of old, it belonged to the sovereign.

That entity is the State of Hawaii today.

That is ceded land, believe it or not. Just like the new lava land when created, goes to the sovereign, not the poor private property owner who just saw Tutu Pele torch his house and cover it with lava.

And, because it is Section 5(f) ceded land, there are only five purposes for which it can be used for, according to our U.S. Supreme Court this past March in their Corrupt State of Hawaii versus More Corrupt Office of Hawaiian Affairs.

“Don't believe what you hear.”

Since: Sep 08

Wahiawa

#9 Nov 30, 2009
The idea of using the high water mark dates back to pre-gps. Now, with GPS, we know exactly where the property line should be and do not need the high water mark to show where the property boundary exists.
For those properties that are being eroded, the State should consider utilizing eminent domain and removing these dwellings up to the road.
Da kine

Union City, NJ

#10 Nov 30, 2009
Eh you da kine !!! you do not own da land,the people do hea.The beaches are belong to the public let's not alow dis "rich mainlanders" believe they can buy dos dirty politicians to make the law to their taste.Hawaii ,Mufi boy wants to destroy da Aqueduct and,now him and da "Gang"wants you to stay away from what is belong to you--->the rights to the beaches of Hawaii!!!!!
Da kine

Union City, NJ

#11 Nov 30, 2009
Stand up okinams!!!!! what's nezt?.Mufi moving to Hawaii kai??
Ukanotbecerious

Kihei, HI

#12 Nov 30, 2009
glenn paul wrote:
<quoted text>enufalready. Totally agree with you. Free access to Hawaiis beaches are a huge plus for everyone. Everyone should have access to the beaches...and...beach-walks to the beaches MUST BE MAINTAINED. You people in hawaii don't want what we go through to go to the beaches in NJ. Pay to park, check parking meters every30 minutes or a 15 dollar ticket. Last time we went, had to pay 10 dollars each to get on the beach. As a tourist we really enjoyed stopping at a beach. In fact, we were told the beaches belong to everyone. Keep it that way. Aloha from Northeast PA.
Interestingly, your comments about the beaches in NJ demonstrate what happens when municipalities "own" the beach. Honolulu's example of municipal control of beachfront property is Hanauma Bay where the City and County of Honolulu took control of a free public beach and created a visitor center where the visitor gets to pay $5.00 to swim with the fish. Hawaii residents get in free.

As the saying goes, "Be careful what you wish for" if the government gets control of all the littoral lands and later figures out that they can, as you say back east, "hustle a buck" by either selling the accreted lands or by charging the tourist for beach access just like they do in Joisey.
Settlers

Honolulu, HI

#13 Nov 30, 2009
This is an example of settlers in Hawaii trying to control all of the beach at the expense of the Hawaii taxpayer. All beach front property in Hawaii should be condemed for public use and made free of any more settlements.
loco moco

Rockville, MD

#14 Nov 30, 2009
A "same but different" case from Florida will be heard by the Supremes this session.

The Florida case is about new beach formed on the seaward side by state sand-pumping programs such as we've done in Waikiki -- in other words, as Fred Hemmings says, land the beachfront residents "never owned in the first place." Those plaintiffs shouldn't stand a chance.

The Hawai'i case hinges on the concept that new land can accrete mauka of the mean high water mark, thereby extending the existing property of the landowner. Of course, the only way this extension could occur is if the mean high water mark moved makai over time. And because the notion of shifting property boundaries itself creates a legal quagmire, Act 73 quite logically proposed to freeze the high water mark boundaries as of a date certain, so as to prevent future disputes.

If there are landowners who can demonstrate that this freezing of boundaries created an unjust "taking" of PREEXISTING accreted land AS OF THAT DATE, then in my opinion those specific landowners should prevail on their specific merits.

But this suit aims to invalidate the fixed boundaries established by Act 73, reverting back to the original "shifting sands" policy which can only lead to endless legal wrangling.

The amusing thing is that the present plaintiffs are arguing only the potential for unjust "taking"; they can demonstrate no specific present instance in which Maunalua Bay landowners have actually accrued new land mauka of the now-fixed boundaries.(And anyone familiar with Maunalua Bay will recognize the extreme unlikelihood of such an occurrence.) Hence, none of the plaintiffs have actually been damaged in any way by Act 73.

Hence, their effort to make this a class action suit. But had they found a potential plaintiff with actual damages, they surely would have been added to the lawsuit. The result: "zero" (damages) times any number of plaintiffs still equals "zero".

The amusing thing is that if the plaintiffs prevail in reverting to shifting boundaries, the odds are that they'll lose more and more of their existing property, rather than this hypothetical possibility of gaining new "free land". Rising sea levels will inevitably drive this process for the next couple of generations at least, yet it appears the plaintiffs are ready, willing and eager to shoot themselves in the feet.
Hiloan

Carson, CA

#15 Nov 30, 2009
Beach front property should ALWAYS be in the public's hands and NO ONE, AND I MEAN NO ONE, can deny the public from accessing the beach!!! If these property owners don't like it, MOVE OUT!!! In the future, any request to build a development on ocean front property (if there are any left) should have a clause that states "NO BEACH/OCEAN FRONT PROPERTY OWNER CAN DENY PUBLIC ACCESS TO THE BEACH/OCEAN FOR ANY REASON".
bubba

Kapaa, HI

#16 Nov 30, 2009
greedy landowners and their landscapers have made a mess of Kauai beaches. Our big beautiful sandy beaches are being privatized... our beaches are heavily planted, irrigated, fertilized, and then they plant salt tolerant grasses seaward of this. Our beaches will soon be grass. Sick situation with absolutely no enforcement.
Vacation rentals here now advertise private beach.
alice

Hanalei, HI

#17 Nov 30, 2009
mark wrote:
This is the craziest lawsuit and should be thrown out! Obviously if its new land then the high water mark has risen and the beach front people dont have a leg to stand on.
New Land doesnt just appear out of thin air.
Please preserve my right to swim there...too much selfishness abounds.
mark

Kalaheo, HI

#18 Nov 30, 2009
Does anyone know the names of these people who are suing us the taxpayers?

They shouldnt be able to hide under their Maunalua Ohana shibai name.
Wayne

Kalaheo, HI

#20 Nov 30, 2009
bubba wrote:
greedy landowners and their landscapers have made a mess of Kauai beaches. Our big beautiful sandy beaches are being privatized... our beaches are heavily planted, irrigated, fertilized, and then they plant salt tolerant grasses seaward of this. Our beaches will soon be grass. Sick situation with absolutely no enforcement.
Vacation rentals here now advertise private beach.
Where is Laura Thielen and DLNR??? Why wont she uphold the law and do her job? DLNR has the power to stop these greedy people.
Wayne

Kalaheo, HI

#21 Nov 30, 2009
These homeowners have no title to this land so it can not legally be theirs. It belongs to the people of Hawaii.
Kalihi Fisherman

Kalaheo, HI

#22 Nov 30, 2009
Same thing at Paiko and Wailupe. The homeowners have planted grass so that you can only use the beach at low tides.

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