Beach ownership is still in question ...

Beach ownership is still in question - Hawaii News

There are 84 comments on the Honolulu Star-Bulletin story from Nov 30, 2009, titled Beach ownership is still in question - Hawaii News. In it, Honolulu Star-Bulletin reports that:

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.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Honolulu Star-Bulletin.

Since: Nov 09

Kula, HI

#23 Nov 30, 2009
I think their property deeds pretty much defines what they own. And the survey pegs for the property should be a clear delineation of exactly where that line is. If they relocate the pegs, trying to incorporate public lands into their own holdings, that's theft (or attempted theft)and they should be charged accordingly.
Who is claiming the new land where the lava is flowing ito the ocean on the Big Island.
Lord Haha

Hilo, HI

#24 Nov 30, 2009
Beachs belong to the public. Period. Let some of the rich guys claim a sewer plant or a land fill.

There is a real dislike for the rich in Hawaii. Many people feel that they have been exploited.

Kailua Beach front people are particularly nasty.

I hope global warming takes out their living rooms.
Lord Haha

Hilo, HI

#25 Nov 30, 2009
Kalihi Fisherman...

Just fish the old style way. Take a pee on their grass and let the natural beach do its thing.

It should be illegal to put up a seawall. That is what changes the beaches.

Kawamoto did the right thing on Kahala to the public. No problems...use sunscreen.
Kalihi Fisherman wrote:
Same thing at Paiko and Wailupe. The homeowners have planted grass so that you can only use the beach at low tides.

Honolulu, HI

#26 Nov 30, 2009
I'm definitely for preserving public access. But I do think it's a little unfair beachfront owners can only lose land, but never gain it. Perhaps a compromise would be to allow them to recover any property lost -and then subsequently regained - due to shifting (when/where applicable), but only up to the boundaries as specified by their original title.

In this particular case, I don't believe that would apply, since I don't think the property owners ever lost property to begin with. So the newly created beach should belong to the state.
Ocean Motion

Kaneohe, HI

#27 Nov 30, 2009
The beach at Portlock, above the high water mark, was deeded over to the beach front homeowners by KSBE. The KSBE deed states the homeowners cannot build or develop anything on the land and that the community has full access to the land. The homeowners at Portlock don't want the community to know this. This action they are taking is consistent with their continuing to try and keep the beach private. Shame on them!
To know

Kaneohe, HI

#28 Nov 30, 2009
mark wrote:
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.
Start with Attorney JIM LEAVITT - you see him on TV standing on the beach front area in his commericals

Lihue, HI

#29 Nov 30, 2009
The City/County should send these landowners revised tax bills if they continue to claim that they own the beach.
da right thing

Honolulu, HI

#30 Nov 30, 2009
Da kine wrote:
Stand up okinams!!!!! what's nezt?.Mufi moving to Hawaii kai??
MUFI - better levy a land tax on these property owners - make it 2X the amount that regular land owners pay -
stop the overplanting

Kailua Kona, HI

#31 Nov 30, 2009
There is no way from looking at those pics from the article you can tell me that the vegetation is "natural" growth. Guaranteed that it was planted and watered on public beach to make it look that way. This is a huge problem. The State can not go by vegetation to mark the high water mark. Most of the vegetation planted and watered by owners is salt tolerant which means it will grow and thrive even if the salt water washes on it. Really its stealing the public beach by faking the high water mark. Additionally, Act 73 does state that if an owner loses land to erosion it can gain it back through acretion but only to their original property line....

Honolulu, HI

#32 Nov 30, 2009
Oh well the land owners may want to take insurance from God to compensate them for erosion. The Hawaiian and the people of good will in this state must stand firm and not let what happened in the mainland occurred here. There must be public access to all beaches in Hawaii period.


#34 Nov 30, 2009
The land owners own the new land if they pay the added real estate taxes on it. Nothing is free. However, Hawaii should have set limits on beach front property sizes. The beach should be public property.
Be Real

Honolulu, HI

#35 Nov 30, 2009
I guess the good news is that for once we're gaining more beach instead of losing it, as seems to be the case everywhere else in Hawai'i.

Take the beach back from those sneaky, greedy folks!

Paauilo, HI

#36 Nov 30, 2009
If the ocean front property owners want to own the beach, then they should be fully responsible for the ecological , geological , and adjoining ocean waters of said property. They should also be required to file an Environment Impact Statement on any project on "their" property,and adjoining lands, and be responsible for any environmental issues by rules set by the City, State, and Federal EPA agency.

Port Saint Lucie, FL

#37 Nov 30, 2009
Can everybody just chill? As the world goes through a warming period, the sea level is only going to rise. The high tide line is going to move mauka, not makai. These landowners on the beach will certainly be losing property to the state, not gaining it. And if they (because of unusual currents) do accrete land it is perfectly constitutional to tax it differently. If these people wish to claim this land let them balance the city budget on their backs.

Hilo, HI

#38 Nov 30, 2009
Tear down seawalls ! The shore moves with the ocean , sometimes over decades even centuries . A seawall might protect the one property but cause havoc down the beach . Look at Waikiki .

Duluth, GA

#39 Nov 30, 2009
I all comes down to money the rich who can afford beach front homes will always rule. If it was not for the goverment that allows public access we the people would not have access to the beach, as land owners would fence it off. long ago there was no land owners it belong to everyone(Ohana)But as other people came to the islands we have to own something. So lets take it away. The beach should belong to everyone not a select few who can afford it.

Kevin Tennyon

Kula, HI

#40 Nov 30, 2009
da right thing wrote:
<quoted text>
MUFI - better levy a land tax on these property owners - make it 2X the amount that regular land owners pay -
2X? Make it 10X!! Biggest mistake was allowing any building on oceanfront land - including hotels. Allowing homeowners to claim widened beaches would be another huge mistake.

Since: Aug 08

Makawao, HI

#41 Nov 30, 2009
Hay glenn paul.... not so loud. I remember paying to get onto the "public" beaches in NJ.
Please... don't give the local politions any ideas. Next thing you know we'll have to pay for one of those little plastic badges to enter Ala Moana Beach Park.
Poi Pounder


#42 Nov 30, 2009
Da kine wrote:
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!!!!!
Quit trying to act local, it is embarrassing.
ChiChi McNugget

Kailua, HI

#43 Nov 30, 2009
Hookaumaha wrote:
If the ocean front property owners want to own the beach, then they should be fully responsible for the ecological , geological , and adjoining ocean waters of said property. They should also be required to file an Environment Impact Statement on any project on "their" property,and adjoining lands, and be responsible for any environmental issues by rules set by the City, State, and Federal EPA agency.
The rules already exist and the ecological issue of growing vegetation has not been enforced by the respective agencies.

What the legislature did was throw out the common law of the State to favor themselves and further the power of the State over private land ownership. The vegetation growth issue was a red herring that could have been resolved under the current rules. Instead, the legislature threw the baby out with the bathwater to gain land that was legally available to the landowners without providing just compensation as is required under the Constitution.

The lower court and the former Governor understood the significance of reversing decades of legal practice and tradition and rejected the State's claim to ownership without providing the compensation. Undoubtedly, this will make its way to the Supreme Court and be decided on the merits of the case.

Given governments inability to manage well anything they own, it is a safer bet in the interest of the resident public to leave things the way they are in light of what the State and County governments have already done to the existing beaches under their control.

In most cases those beaches bordered by private owners make for some of the best and cleanest "off the beaten path" places where the locals know to hang out without the hustle of the crowds in the better known spots.

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