Broad Beach attracted the rich and famous as the homes were all high-end beach front property known for it’s privacy. It wasn’t until 2002 that state officials took action to enforce the public’s right to share the beach, when the coastal commission stated that the law allows everyone to enjoy the ocean and sand up to the point of the highest tide.
However, rights are worthless without beach access — if you can’t get to the beach, it doesn’t really matter if you have the right to be there.
After homeowners lost the high-profile battles, today you you will find two points of beach access and the “Private Property” and “Do Not Trespass” signs are long gone. Fearing star maps being sold to tourists on the corner, this is definitely not what these buyers paid top dollar for.
More recently, Broad Beach homeowners are once again attracting negative attention as the media is blaming them for the reason the public access paths are currently closed. Once known to be the widest expanses of open beach in the region, due to heavy sand loss from severe storms, Broad Beach was pretty close to be wiped out.
A project to protect the multi-million dollar homes from the advancing sea by building a 1.1-mile-long seawall was finished last April, yet the public has not been able to access the beach since then — the two access areas were literally closed under lock and key.
I’m sure the homeowners have enjoyed their privacy once again, but the public pathways, stairs, and handrails remain off-limits because they are still under construction due to permitting and building issues, and the fact they were deemed unsafe after initial inspections. Yet it seems the media want to blame those living on the beach for keeping the beach closed longer than needed so they can protect that privacy.
Don’t you think the homeowners deserve a break? After all, if they bought the property prior to 2002, they not only had their privacy taken away; but now, thanks to Mother Nature, their beach front as well. And from a real estate perspective, think about how much their property value as decreased as a result. They don’t need to be blamed for this now, as well.
What do you think about this? I’d love to hear your comments in the field below!
Image courtesy of The City Project’s Flickr Photostream.