EAST HONOLULU, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A small gate has tempers flaring in Portlock, re-igniting a decades-long debate over beach access.
The gate went up earlier this week at a beach access point on Portlock Road. An accompanying sign said "'no trespassing" and "private lane."
Surfers were looking at the gate Thursday when police were called, spurring a debate over who can use a private beach access lane that has a long history of legal entanglements.
Beachgoers say it blocks access to a popular surf spot called "Seconds."
"They are not very happy, because everyone thought that this access way was open to the public," said Wayne Fujihara, a Hawaii Kai resident and avid body boarder.
"This is the only beach here that has sand. All the others have concrete stairways that have to go down," added Portlock neighbor Lee Taylor.
It's the second time a gate at the access point has provoked controversy. Years ago, the property owner erected a gate, but later took it down.
The property owner had no comment about the new gate.