Gates that the city says were illegally installed by the shoreline at Diamond Head are no longer there.
The metal gates were placed between two mini parks, Makalei and Leahi beach parks, which have luxury beachfront homes in-between.
That drew complaints and raised questions about public access to a walkway along the shoreline.
When we first asked about them in January, the city told us no permits were filed so the gates had to be taken down.
We learned Tuesday that the gates are gone. Park users tell us the gates were taken out sometime in the past week.
“They were here last week. I noticed them last week I’ve never seen them locked I’ve never seen anybody shut them before and I come here really early in the morning and run sometimes,” said park user Peter Vennewitz.
But who took them down? We still don’t know, and both the city and the state won’t say, though the city previously told us the gates were installed by at least one of three landowners.
Users of the beach and parks say they’re just happy the gates are gone, and the walkway is clear once again.
“I’m very happy, I really am, because it’s public access and that’s what we were after,” said Linda Wong of the Diamond Head Neighborhood Board.
Initially, the city said they plan to hold the property owners liable, which could have resulted in fines. But officials later determined that the state has jurisdiction over the seawall.
In a statement, the city said: “Because there is pending litigation involving the city about the seawall, we cannot make any further statements.”
So we asked the state, and this was the response: “We are in discussions with the City and County of Honolulu about this issue. Until those discussions are complete, DLNR has no further comment.”
With the gates now gone, park users hold no grudges against the property owners.
“I can see their point. They want their privacy too. There’s a lot of people that roam through here at night, a lot of homeless a lot of people,” said park user Haumea Warrington.
KHON2 asked the state if fines can still be imposed on the property owners who installed the gates. A spokeswoman says unless officials get additional information, no action will be taken.