Residents up in arms over blocking of public access to beach

The lack of public beach access to a wildlife sanctuary has fed-up East Oahu homeowners taking matters into their own hands. But some of their neighbors are wondering if it’s gone too far, or if what they’re doing is legal.

It’s all part of the ongoing problems along the Paiko Lagoon Wildlife Sanctuary that were expressed at a recent meeting with the Dept. of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR).

Residents on Paiko Drive aren’t happy with the actions of homeowners Garrett Saikley and Robert Carpenter, who are preventing the public from accessing the beach.

Paiko Drive, off Kalanianaole Highway, cuts through a state-owned lagoon sanctuary and public beach access. Saikley and Carpenter’s home sits along this area.

The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) recently found the homeowners guilty of multiple violations along the sanctuary.

Among them are boulders lining a public causeway and suspicious “no trespassing” signs. Neighbors believe these were done to scare people from going to the beach.

“(They are) saying he’s trying to preserve area and be a good neighbor. I don’t believe either,” says neighbor Robert Lipman.

“The law should be enforced as soon as possible,” adds neighbor Patsy Vasquez.

“If they’re allowed to put boulders here, and illegal signs, and allowed to take rocks from a sanctuary to line their driveway, what does it tell other homeowners? That we can do the same, and that’s not right,” says Ann Marie Kirk of Hawaii Kai Nui, a non-profit community organization serving East Honolulu.

The DLNR ordered Saikley and Carpenter to stop and desist, stating their actions are subject to fines up to $15,000 per violation.

Their attorney, Lisa Munger, argued there were factual and legal disputes with DLNR’s reports. “The owners here have more than simply a right-to-walk-along road. They have a stake in it. They have property interest. Recorded easements with title that put both benefits upon them. We are, in effect, partners in the maintenance of this.”

Saikley and Carpenter recently mailed letters to their neighbors, explaining their interest in preserving the local environment.

The state has deferred any actions against Saikley and Carpenter.

The Kuliouou-Kalani Iki Neighborhood Board has asked the DLNR and the Dept. of Forestry to investigate the area and report its findings.

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