The County of Kauai has filed suit against defendant landowner KAPHA North Shore LLC in an effort to reopen a public beach access to the eastern end of Kauapea Beach, also known as Secret Beach.
The suit was filed on Wednesday, Feb. 28, after county discussions with KAPHA LLC’s Hawaii representative in early 2017 failed to resolve the dispute without litigation. However, the discussions reached an impasse and Mayor Bernard P. Carvalho Jr. concluded that going to court was the only way to resolve this matter.
A demand for a jury trial and summons was filed in circuit court by County of Kauai attorney Adam P. Roversi on Friday.
“I applaud our county attorneys for their diligent work over the course of the last several years to hold the landowner accountable,” said Carvalho Jr. in a news release. “Ensuring all members of the community access to public spaces is our kuleana to honor the wishes of our kupuna and serve present and future generations.”
The property in question is an approximately 21-acre portion of the Kilauea Gardens Subdivision located on an oceanfront bluff overlooking Kauapea Beach near the Kilauea Lighthouse.
As a condition of subdivision approval, and of Special Management Area permitting required for the development of the Kilauea Gardens Subdivision, the developer was required to provide a pedestrian access easement from the public road to the shoreline across the land currently owned by KAPHA LLC.
The prior owner of the property blocked the public from using the trail despite the community actively using the trail across this land for decades, said the County of Kauai in a press release, and has been a top concern of the community for years.