California: Private Beaches Yield to Public Access

by Jamee Jordan Patterson, Office of the Attorney General for, the State of California, San Diego, CA, USA,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Coastal Zone '87


California, often a leader in championing public rights, has grappled with the issue of private ownership versus public usage of the seashore, and in recent years has developed interesting solutions. Recent judicial decisions have upheld these solutions with far reaching results. In many ways, California law on public rights to the seashore represents a return to the theory of public rights espoused in Roman times. This paper discusses past and present legislative and judicial resolutions of the conflicts inherent in public access to, and private ownership of the seashore. Particular emphasis is placed on the recent success California has achieved in protecting public rights.

Subject Headings: Public opinion and participation | Private sector | Coastal management | Public private partnership | Beaches | Shores | Legislation | Beach protection and nourishment | California | United States

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