California fines owners $millions for blocking beach access

| 12/12/2016 | 34 Comments

(CNS): As the Cayman Islands government begins a new focus on addressing the long-standing problems regarding beach access and easement rights to the shore, owners of beachfront property in California have been fined millions of dollars. Beach access rights in Cayman was a hot topic during the last session of the Legislative Assembly, when East End MLA Arden McLean brought a private member’s motion on public rights of way and access to the beaches and the sea, asking government to address the law to protect those rights.

Planning minister Kurt Tibbetts agreed that access rights have been gradually eroded due to inadequate protection and extensive beachfront development over the years. No beachfront property owners have ever been fined in Cayman for blocking access, despite some very deliberate acts to prevent people from getting to the beach and ocean front by some owners.

But some CNS readers believe that government should take a leaf out of the west coast state’s book after the Los Angeles Times reported that two very wealthy Malibu property owners were fined over US$5.1 million for gating off beachfront property and making it hard for the public to reach the water.

The California Coastal Commission fined one couple around $4.2 million for diverting a public easement to private use at an expensive oceanfront rental they own at Las Flores Beach. In a second case, the commissioners settled with the owners of the Malibu Beach Inn at Carbon Beach after they agreed to build two stairways to the sand, install a $425,000 signalized crosswalk near the hotel and pay $200,000 in fines, as well as $300,000 to a local conservation agency.

The penalties are the first that the agency has imposed on property owners for violating beach access provisions, the Times reported. State legislators granted the commission the authority to level fines in 2014.

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Category: USA, World News

Comments (34)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    MLAs. Do something or just shut up. Sheesh. Just shut up.

  2. Anonymous says:

    don’t worry , kurt is on it…..zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  3. Tired of same BS says:

    CPA only challenge the poor home owner who places a shed In His backyard to store items like tools or garden equipment. But the wealthy guy can build his stairs dangerously at the edge of a main artery on the island that many walkers and cyclist uses on a daily basis. Sad what this country has come to. No hopes for the younger generations unless they have money.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yeah, those stairs are something else…. SS road is already too narrow. Also, buddy, it’s not just here where you need to be rich to get ahead in the world. Once everyone stops acting like Cayman is somehow exempt from reality then maybe we can move forward and change with the times. Resistance is only going to make you poorer.

    • Anonymous says:

      Anyone been to the beach bar at the Kimpton..?..setback on 7mile beach totally ignored.
      Any comment from the planning department or are you scared of losing your job by enforcing the regulations ?

      • Anonymous says:

        Irks you that you are not as smart as they are, doesn’t it. That been there from Holiday Inn days.

      • Anonymous says:

        The CPA waive everything when it comes to setbacks. Just look at that building near the fish market. The septic tank is 20 feet from the sea and the car park is against the law as it has no set back. You need also guess who did the roofing. No conflict there.

      • Anonymous says:

        Mother nature wont ignore the Kimpton beach bar. Just wait for a good 30kt nor’ wester to roll through.

      • Anonymous says:

        FYi that bar was built well before Dart had a hand in it.

  4. Jack P says:

    Been going there for at least 15 years. Getting closer to taking my business elsewhere. Its a shame what has been allowed. You would think lessons were learned from the past. I miss the REAL Cayman Islands. If I wanted to vist America I would just stay home.

  5. Anonymous says:

    What a joke! You see the house built on South Sound that has a stair case almost landing in the road? You seen anyone doing anything about it? As of this morning, construction was still going strong. A lot of other places in the world would have halted construction until this f.u. has been resolved – but in Cayman, someone has to first get killed before they realize there is a serious issue.

    And you expect that anyone in Government is concerned that public beach access is preserved………..

    • Anonymous says:

      That guy in South Sound don’t even want us to used the public road never mind the beach!!

      Seriously, will anything be done about the stairs in the road?

    • Anonymous says:

      I have been wondering about that!! If I have to swerve for any reason and cross that step, I will be getting my car fixed by the owner.
      And From what I understand the owner is fully knowledgeable about the easements and the fact that he is over his lot.
      I too am waiting for this to be yanked up.

    • Anonymous says:

      If you donate big to the rulers you can do as you please.
      Now that’s Progressive!

    • Anonymous says:

      Agreed- its beyond funny when the construction workers have to stop at the last step , unless they step in front of your car – they are just trying to do their job. I don’t understand how this can be adhering to planning guidelines, on the street setback? Anyone else wish to post or comment on what the street boundary setback is supposed to be, for clarity ? I seem to recall when we built our house it was 20 feet [ minimum] from the street boundary to the house wall /foundation and 15 feet on the side boundary. But I understand it depends on the location, beachfront , other criteria.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Honestly, I used to defend public access to the beach but more and more you got to wonder if people deserve it. Just look at Smith Cove! A day after Government announced that they had bought the property to ensure the public access to this property for generations to come, a football club had organized a clean up of the beach! That’s how much people seem to value free access. If you step just a few feet into the “bush” area anywhere along 7 mile beach, you find everything, from dirty diapers to old lawn chairs and stacks of beer bottles. Nice! Public Beach on West Bay Road has now been slowly taken over by beach vendors, being a pain in the butt to everyone who wants to enjoy some peace and tranquility.

    As usual, Government is sitting around scratching their heads and more and more residents seems to be getting nastier and lazier by the day, dumping and littering all over the place.

  7. Anonymous says:

    OK, let’s get this straight – the Coastal Commission was given the power to levy fines in 2014 but has only just used it?

    California has roughly 840 miles of coastline and they’ve only made two busts in as many years? Sounds like a classic case of token environmentalism to me.
    .

  8. Anonymous says:

    Nothing like owning a million dollar home on the beach to enjoy with obese loud-mouth and skinny bird-brain, cigar smoking fisherman, only 15 yards out with his blaring loud soka music to enjoy with his friends at all times during the night, while they flush out the remaining grouper and conch population. Thats a million us dollar view not worth a zillion dollar zimbabwe dollar.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Keep the pressure on those offenders on Boggy Sand Road!!

  10. Anonymous says:

    I thought the law was there, is just a matter of enforcing.

    After they change the traffic law I just park in the property of my choice and walk through it, no complains in years. Needles to say I dont go in party groups with music and cases of beer. Nevertheless, if someone stop me i will remind them that beach access must be provided under the law, will wish them a good day and keep walking.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Well, ya know, some people don’t think the rules apply to them. We call them a$$holes.
    If the shoe fits…

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