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For years, multimillionaires have been bullying beach-goers in Malibu, California, trying hard to keep them away from the pristine?and public?sand and surf.

The sneaky homeowners have used orange cones, phony no-trespassing signs, security guards and fake garage doors to prevent regular folks from accessing the beachfront.

One resident on Malibu Road even planted hedges to hide an access-way, said Ben Adair, co-founder of Escape Apps, which partnered with environmental writer Jenny Price to develop a new app called Our Malibu Beaches. The app shows users exactly where each public access point is along the 20 miles of Malibu coast absorbed by private development.

?People pay tens of millions of dollars to live on these beaches, and they want to think that the public space that?s there is not public,? Adair said. ?They have a hard time acknowledging that they built their house next to a really awesome public resource. They don?t want to share.?

There is no such thing as an all-private beach in California, but Malibu?s rich and famous?the mile-long Carbon Beach has been dubbed Billionaires? Beach?have been trying to keep the general public off the sand for years.

The goal of the app: to ?free the beach.?

?It is one of the biggest problems that we have with public space in the L.A. area, is that the Malibu beaches are so hard to get to and so hard to find,? Price said in the project?s video on the crowdfunding website Kickstarter.

Beachfront homeowners have found creative, and sometimes illegal, ways to conceal access-ways.

The California coast is supposed to have public beach access every 1,000 feet, Adair said, but in Malibu, it?s easy to go miles without hitting a public access-way. Entertainment mogul David Geffen fought a long court battle, which he ultimately lost, to prevent the opening of a public walkway next to his property.

This really rankled Price. She?s spent more than 10 years working on projects to make the public beaches in Malibu actually public, culminating so far in the creation of Our Malibu Beaches. She raised more than $32,000 from more than 800 backers on Kickstarter in order to make the iPhone app free all summer and to develop an Android version.

In the buzz surrounding its launch this month, some Malibu residents expressed their resistance to the app, which is described in Apple?s app store as an ?owner?s manual? that uncovers some of Los Angeles? ?biggest secrets.? The app helps beach-goers locate entrances to the patches of public beach, as well as public parking.

In a letter responding to a Los Angeles Times front-page column on the app, Wendy Lender?whose parents have had a home on the beach in Malibu since the 1950s?said there are no facilities for the public, like bathrooms or garbage cans, near their home.

"When people plan a day at the beach, does it not occur to them that the beach is not their toilet or trash can? Unless you have an amazing ability not to have normal bodily functions, please head to a public beach that is capable of handling your mess," Lender wrote.

But Adair said that the app is just as much about respecting private property as it is public.

?People now have the tools to go out and use these beaches to the fullest and not get in trouble,? he said, noting that before, beach-goers may have trespassed on private property without realizing it.

The laws regarding what is public land and what is private land are a bit confusing when it comes to the beaches. The general rule of thumb, however, is that wet sand is public land. But in Malibu, some dry sand areas are public, and the app brings those areas to light.

Although some Malibu residents have complained, Adair said the negative feedback hasn?t been overwhelming. Most complaints from beach residents are similar to Lender?s?that beach-goers trash the beach in the absence of public facilities.

General user feedback has been positive, he said, including comments from Malibu residents who don?t live on the beach and had no idea they were so close to public access-ways.

?The app lets people go out and enjoy all of these beautiful and gorgeous beaches that can be really hard to find, really hard to get to and really hard to use,? Adair said.

source & video

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That Lender lady has a point--if the beach isn't equipped to handle a lot of people, it could be ruined. One thing I loved about a lot of beaches in Brasil was the tranquility and natural state of it--wasn't polluted or built up, just all trees and the way it was meant to be. I can see why, if they pay millions of dollars for the house because of its location, they'd like to preserve the worth of said location.

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having grown up my whole kid life in California, doesn't surprise me one bit! Freakin California man...

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That Lender lady has a point--if the beach isn't equipped to handle a lot of people, it could be ruined. One thing I loved about a lot of beaches in Brasil was the tranquility and natural state of it--wasn't polluted or built up, just all trees and the way it was meant to be. I can see why, if they pay millions of dollars for the house because of its location, they'd like to preserve the worth of said location.

 

What about people that do not go all day.  Just want to spend a few hours at the beach the head home.  Ruined?  It is a public beach same as all the rest, it is not ruined.  These owners just want to have privacy so they can sit out on the backyards but that does not make it right.

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What about people that do not go all day.  Just want to spend a few hours at the beach the head home.  Ruined?  It is a public beach same as all the rest, it is not ruined.  These owners just want to have privacy so they can sit out on the backyards but that does not make it right.

Those are the worst. It's not something they have to/get to see on a daily basis so they don't take care of it like someone who sees it daily.  Those are the people that tend to not give a damn other than there one time experience and end up trashing it.

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The counties could surely put in a few port-a-potties, and a few trash dumpsters ... ?

 

There needs to be some cooperation on both sides.

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The counties could surely put in a few port-a-potties, and a few trash dumpsters ... ?

 

There needs to be some cooperation on both sides.

Sounds about right.

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Those are the worst. It's not something they have to/get to see on a daily basis so they don't take care of it like someone who sees it daily.  Those are the people that tend to not give a damn other than there one time experience and end up trashing it.

 

Still its a public location.  North County has no life guards, bathrooms and it is one of the most popular surfing location and they are no disgusting as owners of Malibu would imply would happen at that PUBLIC beach in their back yard.

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Still its a public location.  North County has no life guards, bathrooms and it is one of the most popular surfing location and they are no disgusting as owners of Malibu would imply would happen at that PUBLIC beach in their back yard.

Did you know these people are not just saying that it will happen? They say it has already happen. These are the same people that clean the beaches because nobody else will clean it, let alone not trash it in the first place? It's great that it works out for North County, but that is not the case in Malibu.

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Did you know these people are not just saying that it will happen? They say it has already happen. These are the same people that clean the beaches because nobody else will clean it, let alone not trash it in the first place? It's great that it works out for North County, but that is not the case in Malibu.

 

 

You are right about the litter that sucks, that should be enforced some how but not by the local residents doing sometimes illegal things.  Even I have to pick up trash in my community from people partying.  I get sick of cleaning up corona bottles and empty beer cases but still I do it.  That is part of where I live since it hard to enforce. 

 

Here is a quote from an actual resident though

 

I live on the beach. Next to me is a public beach access. I have no problem with that. I think everyone should have access to the ocean. I fight for it. But EVERY weekend the entire area is polluted with beer cans, fast food garbage, cigarette butts, old beach chairs...and pretty much everything you can imagine. I have no problem with beach access, but the huge amount of #$%$ left on the beach EVERY weekend is amazing. My wife and I go out and pick it up on Monday. If you go to the beach, don't be a pig. I guess 90% do a good job and have a great time. But 10% of you are horrible pigs. Really horrible pigs.

 

 

Thinking more of this.  Why are there no trash cans on this beach if it is public? Does the city not want people going there, if so why make it public? 

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its a good thing that in Massachusetts the beaches actually are private, our summer home is on a private beach that has a guarded gate preventing motorists from entering the driveway / parking area and you cannot see the beach from the road. There are no guards on the beach itself though.

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People do not own the ocean. I dont like how there are beaches that say private. A beach is different than someones yard and land because its connected to the ocean which no one owns.If I had a house on the ocean, I wouldnt care if people sat on the beach and enjoyed the water, as long as they act decent.

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They have my support. Having a lot of money shouldn't mean that rich people have a right to deny everyone else access to public property.

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Thinking more of this.  Why are there no trash cans on this beach if it is public? Does the city not want people going there, if so why make it public? 

And that's what it comes down to. If the local government doesn't do what its highest tax payers are asking, what choice they have at that point. I'm not supporting them doing anything illegal, but can you blame them for becoming creative to resolve the matter.

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Sounds like rich people thinking they are privileged over the rest of us, like usual.

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You are right about the litter that sucks, that should be enforced some how but not by the local residents doing sometimes illegal things.  Even I have to pick up trash in my community from people partying.  I get sick of cleaning up corona bottles and empty beer cases but still I do it.  That is part of where I live since it hard to enforce. 

 

Thinking more of this.  Why are there no trash cans on this beach if it is public? Does the city not want people going there, if so why make it public? 

 

 

I liked your post.

 

I am guessing cash-strapped California counties don't want to find the money for toilets and trash pick-up.

 

People who don't go to the beach won't want to pay for this.

 

I guess all you could do is charge a small fee to cover this cost.

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And that's what it comes down to. If the local government doesn't do what its highest tax payers are asking, what choice they have at that point. I'm not supporting them doing anything illegal, but can you blame them for becoming creative to resolve the matter.

Not sure why thinking so much about it, but I am seeing both sides.  Both sides are right and wrong.  Next time I am in Cali I will go see for myself :D.

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I guess all you could do is charge a small fee to cover this cost.

Put that way, it sounds like another tax on top of the other 15 jillion ways they tax us now.

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^ I doubt many would empty the toilets and pick up the trash for free.  ;)

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