Posted by: lokahipath | August 15, 2010

Beach Right Of Way That Stops!!Public Schoolhouse Road locked up 1979

Microfilm issue of TGI of Sept. 3, 1979

Beach Right-of-way that stops…!

If you’ve tried to get down to Larsen’s Beach between Moloaa and Kilauea, and think it’s strange that the new county right-of-way stops at the top of a hill-you’re not alone.

In response to complaints about this, a check with the Department of Public Works reveals this wasn’t a mistake-as it appears.

DPW’s George Yamamoto reports this was the closest thing they could get to an “official” right of way to the popular beach.

He said they planned on a roadway directly to the beach but the owner refused to sell the land to the county if they did that.

The owner contended that a comfortable roadway all the way to the beach would be too costly to maintain because of erosion on the hilly terrain, and that it would then attract so many people there would be a problem with pollution.

He would agree to a right-of-way sale only if the road stopped short of the beach-thus the road that ends at the top of a hill, and a walk (or climb) 100 to 200 yards to the beach, laden down with fishing gear and picnic baskets.

County Engineer Henry Morita said the county agreed to the compromise because otherwise there would have to be condemnation proceedings that could tie things up in court for several years.

Visitors who come to Kauai every year complained about the padlock on the gate off the old Koolau Road, which used to be the entrance to the mighty rough trail that has been used for access to Larsen’s Beach for years.

Yamamoto said there is no gate on the new entrance to the beach road, about 100-200 yards on the Kapaa side of the old entrance, and the county has fenced the sides of the road to keep the cows from interfering with traffic.

The tourists believed that because no one can own a beach (except the state), the owners of adjoining land have to provide access to the beach.

As Yamamoto pointed out, this is not so. He said there are some access points on the north shore but that doesn’t mean there is access to every beach on the coast.

He said there are laws now, when land is being subdivided, that the Planning Commission can make beach access one of the conditions for subdivision approval, i.e. at Princeville and Poipu, but that is about the only way they can get the right-of-ways.

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