Gates Open Bigger Issue Over Beach Access

Gwen Deluze
Gwen Deluze

KAILUA (KHNL) - A bigger issue has surfaced from the recent controversy over gates blocking people from gaining access to Kailua beach in Windward Oahu.

Critics say the public rights-of-way to Kailua beach are inadequate, and with more gates blocking private access to the shoreline, many residents fear they're unfairly getting shut out.

Along Kailua's coastline is a trend many residents find disturbing - gates like the one at L'Orange Place blocking access to the shoreline.

"I can see the people that live on the beach, they pay millions and millions of dollars for the house but they still shouldn't cut off access to the beach," says Kailua resident Eddie Frias.

The gates are legal, on private property, and homeowners say they install them for safety and liability reasons. But they leave some feeling unfairly locked out.

"You can't ban people just because one person or a group of people loiter or make raucous or whatever, spoils it for the ones that doesn't," says Kailua resident Gwen Deluze.

Some say the gates wouldn't be a problem if there were more public rights-of-way.

"I don't think there's enough on that end where they put the gate," says Frias.

But the city says there are eight public rights-of-way, some close to the controversial gates. The problem - a couple of public access roads aren't marked, like one on Kalaheo Avenue, hidden behind some homes, with no signs. Some say other access roads are too far of a walk.

At a talk story session Wednesday night, city leaders told residents they will look into their concerns about the public rights-of-way to Kailua beach.