App shows you the way to the illegally hidden public beaches of Malibu


60 Responses to “App shows you the way to the illegally hidden public beaches of Malibu”

  1. nixiebunny says:

    That’s a great quote about the back yard. Too bad for them they didn’t take into account that the beach is NOT their back yard when they spent all that money on the house.

  2. TheKaz1969 says:

    “You’re paying for the beach house and the property you own is technically the beach in front of your house,” said Emma Ravdin.”

    I am assuming that if these are public beaches, this is just another example of someone misusing the term “technically” ?

    I let it slip when my 8 year old misused it the other day (okay, not really, I called her on it), but…

    • knoxblox says:

       I am very curious to know how this attitude arose, anyway. Did they simply assume when they moved in, or do realtors give them a false sense of potential ownership when presenting the property? Or has this sense of entitlement grown over many years, taking root before the population boom of 1865-1920, when there were a lot fewer people around?

    • LinkMan says:

      Unless there is a public access easement, they DO technically own the beach from their house to the mean high tide line.

  3. Brainspore says:

    That’s like buying a home adjacent to the airport and then trying to keep all the planes away from your “private” airspace. If you don’t want people near your house, don’t build your house adjacent to a beach you don’t own.

  4. big ryan says:

    i feel like i need to go on a surf trip up to malibu so i can take advantage of this, in san diego all beaches are public as far as i know

  5. Mitchell Glaser says:

    I am going to try to visit every one of these this summer.

  6. creesto says:

    I LOVE this!! Wish I was a west coaster….I’d be a Public Beach accessing fool, with a big smile, “Hello!” and wave of the hand…
    <>..whiny bitches…

    • Brainspore says:

      Unfortunately they often do more than grumble, sometimes they hire private security guards to harass beachgoers too. The rich folks know that they don’t really need legal standing if they just make beach access unpleasant and inconvenient enough so that most people stay away.

      • SomeDude says:

        Sounds like there may be some easy money to score here, alongside setting things to rights.  Go to the beaches, film everything, and if you get harrassed, lodge a lawsuit;  soak the jerks for a nice settlement, and include the requirement that you get to publish the result.   Subsequent like infractions will be even more harshly punished.  Viola, you’ve opened up the beaches to those who are supposed to have access, and you’ve made some cash.

        • Brainspore says:

          That’s great for getting the ones who do illegal stuff but it’s possible to make someone feel uncomfortable and unwelcome without actually breaking the law.

          People go to the beach to relax, nobody wants to feel the ever-present glare of security guards while they sunbathe or go swimming with their kids.

      • novium says:

         That’s true. It’s true even in Lake Tahoe, where there aren’t tides but the lake level changes every year, so most years there’s a lot of public beach and every once in a while, the public part of the beach is underwater. In North Shore, there’s an awesome little beach where the asshole home owners (who are well hated by everyone else in the neighborhood) illegally put up fences to keep the public off “their” land, thus blocking off access to 2/3rds of the beach. The county tore the biggest down, opening another third of the beach, but the last third is blocked off not by an actual wall but a really obnoxiously built pier/dock that doubles as a fence. If you dare go around/under it, you will be chased off the beach by a security guard with a gun. Who will threaten to shoot you for trespassing. People tend to call the sheriff when that happens, but the sheriff doesn’t bother responding to those calls anymore. And the thing that makes it all the more disgusting is that all three houses are pretty much empty 24/7. But I know someone who worked on the computer network for house #3, they said there’s a crazy amount of web-connected and controlled security cameras, mostly  facing the beach. The homeowner’s daughter apparently spends most of her time monitoring them and telling the security guard to go chase off beach goers.

      • Fnordius says:

        I can see this evolving into a game for some people, making the lives of the rich people unpleasant in return. Especially in the age of flash mobs and apps like this, eventually someone will figure out a sort of game which involves catching private security being dicks, bonus points if the homeowner himself or herself pulls a “get off of my property” when you clearly are still in the “below high tide” area.

        Eventually, though, someone is going to get hurt when a frustrated henchma- I mean security guard – loses his cool and punches a kid. And then the game moves on to a less casual and more serious level.

  7. ninjapornstar says:

    What is the “mean high tide line”? 

    My understanding is that the beaches are public between the ocean and the “mean high tide line,” but private property can extend to mean high tide line. However, the part of the beach that most people use, in my experience, is uphill of the high tide line. We put our blankets, umbrellas, etc. on dry sand, not wet.

    In other words, does this mean that if you’re walking/sitting/whatever on the wet sand you’re good, but if you set-up your towel on the dry sand, you’re trespassing?

    • benadair says:

      The mean tide line is really esoteric — you have to average out all the high tide levels for the past 18.4 years and then that’s the where the public sands start. From there down to the water. 

      The rule of thumb is that any sand that’s wet is public property. You’re always good there.

      BUT, there’s a whole lot of dry sand that’s public property too because of easements that home owners have agreed too (in return for zoning variances, for example, like to build a new pool or deck.

      So in the Our Malibu Beaches app we walk you down each beach house by house to show you where on the dry sand you can place your towel and hang out. It’s info that’s not available online, only in the app!

    • knoxblox says:

       Not exactly.

      The mean high tide line is the average point in which several high tides have reached over a long period of time, usually several years.

      Generally, I think this is easily observed in the terrain, but data is often gathered and signs designate the point at which you aren’t supposed to tresspass. At least this is what I’ve observed at a few Florida and Texas beaches.

  8. benadair says:

    First of all thanks to all the boing boing readers who supported our kickstarter! You guys are the best. 

    Second, if you really wanna have some laughs, check out the 1-star reviews on the App Store page. Luls!

  9. Daneel says:

    I sometimes wonder if I am the only person who remembers TV Nation’s take on ‘Private’ Public beaches.

  10. ChicagoD says:

    Man, one of those illegal signs would be a really great souvenir. 

    • dawdler says:

       am i being a party pooper by saying “two wrongs don’t make a right”. ;)

      • Antinous / Moderator says:

        I’m not sure that removing fraudulent signage is a wrong.

        • dawdler says:

          I’d hate to see over-zealous BB’ers get in trouble for vandalism/theft/defacement. Just because the sign is allegedly not supposed to be there (which it seems is true in some of those cases but possibly not all) doesn’t mean it’s our place to simply take them. But clearly I am just pooping the party. :)

          • miasm says:

            ‘poop away’ but if I install a sign in your garden to that effect I have a feeling you or a neighbour will remove it pretty quickly.

  11. Andrew Singleton says:

    Public ervice guys. You’re doing it right.

    Pity this isn’t sponsored by California. I mean c’mon… of course these big shots are where they get money from so who are they going to back?

  12. Navin_Johnson says:

    Seize their homes, turn them into public beach comfort stations/beach houses.

  13. Daniel Klein says:

    Still wouldn’t recommend swimming in Malibu, at least not until they get a proper sewage system working in Malibu.

  14. senorglory says:

    The disconnect comes from how ownership is defined.  Ownership of real property does not always include the right to exclude the public.  So one can be correct in saying they own the beach, but wrong in saying they can therefor keep everyone else out.  

  15. mmmwright says:

    One of the problems is that there are no public facilities and people use the private property for their bathroom, which is NOT cool and neither is littering, which is also a problem.  If they pack it in, they should pack it out, and leave the beach as they found it.

    • Navin_Johnson says:

       Like I said above, return the properties back to nature, turn some of them as needed into public beach houses: Restrooms, showers, snack bars etc.

      • knoxblox says:

         Perfect! Granite countertop snack bars with terrazo floors, cathedral ceiling shower rooms and an infinity toilet out back.

  16. Shashwath T.R. says:

    My only reaction is “you allow people to build up to the high-tide line?”

  17. miasm says:

    The ‘all-perfectly-on-message’, swarming behaviour and frankly creepy ‘Society‘-style embodiment of that community, creepily creeped me the hell out!

  18. So, technically they own the house AND a little bit of beach adjacent, only they have to make sure people can pass through. Why not making a path for trespassers? That’s how it works anywhere else. o.O

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