November 6th, 2004


Beach access

In Hawai'i, there is a significant difference in the Haves and the Have Nots. Unfortunately many affluent people who have homes along the beach try to restrict access to beaches. In this article it's a Hollywood producer who sued:

Judge rejects suit over path to beach: No legal dispute exists yet
against Kauai, a ruling says

A federal judge has tossed out Hollywood producer Peter Guber's lawsuit seeking a ruling that no public road exists to scenic Papaa Bay across his Mandalay Ranch on Kauai's northeast shore.

U.S. District Judge Susan Oki Mollway ruled Monday that the dispute between Guber and Kauai County has not reached the point where a court can decide the issue. Her order gives Guber the opportunity to refile the suit at a later date.

Because Kauai County has done nothing to force Guber to allow the public on his property, there is no dispute, the judge ruled.

Guber contended the lawsuit has devalued his property and frightened away prospective customers, but Mollway said there is no evidence he has suffered any actual financial loss.

The issue has become a rallying point for environmentalists and native Hawaiians on Kauai seeking greater beach access. They claim many recent land acquisitions have blocked traditional routes to the island's beaches.

In December 2003, four people were arrested for trespassing on Guber's land but charges later were dropped.

Kauai Mayor Bryan Baptiste hired an attorney to conduct a study of the property. In June, Baptiste issued a news release saying that there once was a public right of way but no map or survey shows where it was.

People wanting to reach Papaa Bay still have to use a difficult trail around Guber's property to reach it.

Seen in the Honolulu Starbulletin