Encroachment has been a longstanding issue with Kahala residents.
The board waged a fight against private landowners who were trying to block public access with landscaping so it appeared the beach was private property.
Three decades ago. Kahala attorney Rich Turbin forced the issue with the Big Island’s Mauna Kea Hotel. Turbin’s sister was asked to leave the beach because she wasn’t a hotel guest.
“The state had Mauna Kea sign a covenant that it would not exclude the public, Hawaii residents from the use of the Mauna Kea Beach. That helped to establish the rule of law that everyone had access to the beaches. The entire population of Hawaii must be able to use the beaches. That’s been long established by our supreme court," said Turbin.
Back at Kahala, the state is poised to either grant the hotel an easement or take enforcement action.
But consider this, the land board was sued in February after it granted a 10-year easement to the Four Seasons Maui Grand Wailea for activities that encroached on state land.
The suit claims the move sets a bad precedent by legitimizing illegal operations.