Beach sign denying access removed

| 16/05/2019 | 40 Comments
Cayman News Service

Area on Seven Mile Beach with sign removed

(CNS): The Public Lands Commission has confirmed that it requested the removal of a sign which recently appeared on Seven Mile Beach denying access to beach-goers. Responding to CNS enquiries, the commission said that the landowner was contravening the Prescription Law and the Public Lands Law. CNS checked the area between Calico Jack’s and the Kimpton Resort on Thursday afternoon and found that the sign had been removed, though tightly packed rows of beach loungers were still set out in the area very close to the water’s edge, making it very difficult to traverse the area.

The issue of beach access remains a matter of major public interest. Since CNS posted the story about this particular sign on Tuesday, 140 comments have been posted by readers, with the majority expressing real concerns about the increasing inability of residents to be able to access and use Seven Mile Beach.

Cayman News Service

Private beach sign on Seven Mile Beach, which has now been removed

Despite the increasing challenge of actually getting onto and enjoying Seven Mile Beach, especially areas of the famous beach that still retain tree cover for shade, the laws are clear. The Prescription Law states that where a pathway to a beach has been in use as a means of access for twenty years, the public has “the absolute and indefeasible right to use such beach, land, road, track or pathway”.

The Public Lands Law prohibits anyone without the lawful authority to do so to “obstruct or interfere with the right of a member of the public… to have access to public land, to use public land or to exercise a public right of way over private land”.

While beach-front land may be in private hands, everything below the high water mark, and some still argue the vegetation line, is public.

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Comments (40)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    It would be far better if there was a narrow “walking strip”, marked out public beach sections and fewer access paths from the road to the beach. That way those that own on the beach would not have to put up with the nuisance of gawpers and drunks and the public would have a clear area to play in. This would reduce friction between the groups.

    • David. S says:

      Ahlocals headed like Indians into the swamp, thanks to this gang of 19.

    • David. S says:

      Wen locals start suing the govt for violation of their rights, then they’ll WAKEUP. Demand compensation, you can only take so much of this BS

  2. Anonymous says:

    Taken from Tourist Board manual 2013-14. Seems we can go where we want as long as we don’t use owners equipment. Not sure but I think that if owners have chairs below water line then technically we can use them. At the Marriot you have to walk in the water to get past chairs.

    In order to dispel any confusion or misunderstanding which may have arisen in the past over the rights which members of the public enjoy over Cayman‟s beaches the following guidelines may be of assistance, especially to managers of beachfront hotels and other tourism related beachfront properties.
    2. The public access to Cayman‟s beaches is by the recognized public rights of way which are usually clearly marked on maps and physically on the ground. Landowners over whose land these public rights of way exist are under a legal duty to make sure that they are kept free and clear of any obstruction or debris.
    3. Once members of the public arrive on the beach the following rules apply.
    4. The seaward boundary of a landowner‟s or tenant‟s property is, in tidal waters, the mean high water mark. Between the mean high water mark and the low water mark, known as “foreshore”, the land belongs to the Crown as does anything below the sea up to the limit of territorial waters.
    5. Where, however, a landowner‟s property consists of “beach” above the mean high water mark, then the usual rule, that a landowner can eject anyone he chooses from his land, is displaced.
    6. Members of the public have the right to use any part of Cayman‟s beaches for recreation even though the part of the beach being used is on private property, i.e. is above the mean high water mark. Such a public right is one of a group of rights which members of the public enjoy, even over private land, in the Cayman Islands. It is a right which the law presumes to have existed for many years and which members of the public have acquired under the Prescription Law.
    7. Whilst members of the public have no rights to use private property such as beach furniture which belongs to beachfront property owners, they may not be prevented from using the beach or passing to and fro along the beach even where the beach they use is on private land. Hotel managers should ensure that all staff working on the beach such a security personnel and food and beverage staff are aware of the law and that the public right to use any part of the beach is not restricted or limited in any way.

  3. Just asking. says:

    Where are the land boundries that is where there land ends go to the beach not and extra 50 feet closér to water.

    • Ag says:

      That’s the way to go cayman these people that owns these condo thinks they own the beach in front of their condo they are moving their sigh closer and closer to the water on beach we can’t even sit in the sand before some guard comes and say that you have to move and that’s not right, cayman people stop letting these foreigners come in and take over your islands just because they have white skin you trust them not so if you all don’t notice they are moving you all out and trying to take over I am happy that the government is still looking out for its people.

  4. Beach lounger says:

    As Government either through inertia (very common), or through Caymanian influence (also very common) has done nothing about the chairs, I suggest that everyone who passes them on their early morning walk, chucks one of them in the sea. The owners will soon get the message.

  5. Ron Ebanks says:

    Why didn’t they removed the chairs too .

  6. Bertie : B says:

    You have mentioned indefeasible Twice in your comments , do you mean indefensible ? I am not sure if indefeasible is actually a word , but maybe it is idk .

  7. Anonymous says:

    Doesn’t anyone that use public land for private purpose need a permit – much like if you want to use a cabana at public beach for a private party you need to register and book the day?

    If these people haven’t done this, and yet they are taking over significant portions of public property, is that property up for grabs? Free beach chairs for everyone perhaps?!

    • Anonymous says:

      Also, just because you have say a T&B licence should not allow you to undertake your own commercial enterprise or have a “stall” on public land. Public land and public beach should be commercial free – full stop. They did that for Smith Cove. Governors Beach?

  8. Anonymous says:

    In a very related and timely note, everyone should crowdfund and assist the wonderful Caymanians Alice Mae Coe, Annie Multon and Ezmie Smith in their efforts to stop CIG railroading their legal attempts to have all beach access locations registered and therefore enforceable…contact attorney H. Phillip Ebanks and help them stop the efforts to prevent Caymanians and non-Caymanian residents and tourists alike from accessing the beach

    As to private beach, there are none…zero…they don’t exist…you have every right to step over the ropes on Seven Mile Beach all the way to their vegetation lines (and not the pretend vegetation lines that they try with newly planted palm trees, etc)…just dont use their private chairs or tables, thats not yours…but the beach? it’s everybodys…..although CIG, CIREBA, etc, etc dont want you to know

  9. Anonymous says:

    Now remove the bloody tatty chairs, they are blocking the beach

  10. Anonymous says:

    Isn’t this just another issue of private enterprise grabbing public facilities for their own gain? It may be the owner of the adjoining land doing it this time, but he still has no right to use the beach like this – effectively ring-fencing it. The high water mark is almost up to the vegetation line on this stretch anyway, but I believe it is and always has been the vegetation line where land ownership stops.

    • Anonymous says:

      The vegetation line is where it is for two reasons. 1. That is where the waves regularly go to in norwesters, and 2. The public have been walking and sitting and playing in the full area between the vegetation line and the sea for over 200 years – which would prevent growth even without norwesters.

    • Fun bring bun says:

      The proprietor owns down to the Mean High Water Mark, but the public can use the beach up to the vegetation line. Boundary markers are not placed at the MHW line as they would be eroded quickly after being established. But once again I reiterate, the public can use the beach within certain parameters up to the established vegetation line.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Who is the land owner?

  12. Anonymous says:

    How close towards the waterline are property owners allowed to stack their beach chairs? It’s ridiculous if the chairs are almost in the water….which seems to be the case here. The owner should have also been told to move their chairs further back. Government needs to grow a pair and sort out this kind of foolishness.

  13. Anonymous says:

    All of teh chairs should be stacked up. It’s not right to have them laid out so that if someone wants to put their towel on the sand, they can’t. I went to beaches when I was living in the USA and we used towels. The beaches weren’t covered with chairs.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for CNS for including property location in your reporting….I now know where I’ll be spending my Sunday afternoon

  15. donkey kick says:

    why would you ban caymanians from Cayman? i never made it my business to go to others’ home countries and create controversy over what’s rightfully theres in regards to the local heritage.

  16. Anonymous says:

    So who is the landowner?

  17. Anonymous says:

    CNS – it is the vegetation line and must be. Otherwise, where does anyone have the right to sunbathe, build a sand castle, read a book or have a picnic? The public have exercised such rights over the entire width of the beach for more than 20 years. Their ongoing prescriptive right to enjoy the entire width for pceful recreation is indefeasible.

    • nauticalone says:

      That seems the logical conclusion – otherwise one would be IN THE SEA, and so no longer ON THE BEACH, at high tide.

    • Anonymous says:

      The 5 people who voted that comment down are conceding that they are not allowed to stop and sit anywhere on the beach. They (according to their reasoning) have no ability to lay out a towel and catch some rays, whilst chatting with a group of friends and watching their young child sleep under an umbrella after a couple of frolicking in the sea.

      They are also conceding that no one else has that right.

      I will not allow anyone to ever give up that right on my behalf.

      It is mine, and it is indefeasible.

    • Anonymous says:

      Silly person, head off to somewhere else because these beaches are now only for the rich & famous – no local riff raff allowed! That’s progress for you.

      • Anonymous says:

        And all proudly brought to you by the fantastic Unity Team government!
        By the way are they filing for assault charges against those referendum bullies?

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