The Hawaii Tribune Herald reported that the Hawaii County Council passed a resolution to take a portion of Papaikou property through eminent domain in order to provide public access to Mill Beach.
An earlier attempt to condemn the access was dismissed on technical grounds.
Hawaii law guarantees public access to the ocean and shorelines. The owners will challenge the case.
Beach access is a subject we follow closely. I represent the Town of East Hampton as Special Counsel. We are awaiting the decision of the Appellate Division, Second Department in a case known as The Seaview at Amagansett, Ltd., et anos v Trustees of the Freeholders and Commonalty of the Town of East Hampton, which should be forthcoming any week now.
The lawsuit brought under RAPL Article 15 seeks to enjoin the public from using Napeague Beach in Amagansett.
The plaintiffs claim ownership of the beach. The plaintiffs’ case was dismissed after trial by the Honorable Ralph T. Gazzillo in Suffolk County Supreme Court. The lower court found plaintiffs did not establish their ownership of the beach. It also found that the owners did not prove their nuisance claims. More importantly, the Court found that the Trustees and the Town demonstrated the historic recreational use of the beach by the public for almost 100 years.
The case was argued on February 11, 2020, so we probably are close to a decision.