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Beach Access Debate Addresses Wrong Issues

January 08, 2002

I think Steve Lopez ("A Walk on the Beach Is No Stroll in the Park," Jan. 4) and the public have this beach access story all mixed up. The uproar in Malibu is not really about public access to a five-foot-wide rocky beach, but about the steps that were taken to make this "beach" a public access point in the first place.

The California Coastal Commission is the only true dictatorship in California. What it says goes, and it is as political an organization as you can find in this state. Three individuals were able to "donate" their way to concessions that are not available to common taxpayers. Sure, it sounds better to write about rich Malibu-ites who aren't that liberal, but the reality is that these small access points aren't going to lead to hordes of umbrella carriers set up in front of Haim Saban's house . . . or are they?

Lee T. Reams II

Malibu

*

I feel that your Dec. 30 article missed the real story potential on the issue of beach access in Malibu. The article speaks about the limited access onto Carbon Beach, a coastal stretch of Malibu; however, it fails to address the fact that the public is unable to park near any of the closed-off entrances onto the beach. The open entrances are adjacent to large parking lots that allow people to park and walk down the complete three-mile stretch of the beach with no charge, unlike beaches such as Surfrider and Zuma that charge a high fee for parking lot use.

You briefly address Broad Beach, which people are truly unable to use because the homeowners enforce their property rights to the mean high tide line, unsurveyed since the 1920s. With an ever-changing coastline, their ownership has prohibited many people from using the nicest sections of this beach. These are the true abusers of the access to the beach, not the Carbon Beach homeowners.

Ashley Woods

Pacific Palisades

*

As a former Malibu resident and a frequent visitor to Hawaii, I am appalled that our public beaches remain inaccessible because of a privileged few. In Hawaii all access ways are open and maintained for public use. Even the hotel chains have public beaches with lifeguards. California should not be an exception. God gave us the Pacific for all to enjoy. You drive for miles without a glimpse of the ocean.

Open your purses or wallets and give California taxpayers their share. Or can excessive wealth, greed and power buy even the ocean? Coastal Commission, do your job.

Patricia Horka

Calabasas

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