MALIBU, Calif. (KTLA) — One local woman is stirring up controversy with a new smartphone app that unlocks the beaches in Malibu — even those that appear to be private.
Environmental writer Jenny Price has been working on the app, called “Our Malibu Beaches,” for about 10 years.
She plans to release the app for free into the Apple store on June 2. An android version could be out by the end of the summer.
“It tells you everything you need to know about how to find and use a public beach in Malibu, which is actually a really, really tough thing to do,” Price said.
The beaches are hidden because there aren’t many signs telling you how to get to them, and because some homeowners do things to keep the public out.
They sometimes put up phony “no parking” or “no trespassing” signs, or they’ll block parking spaces on Pacific Coast Highway with orange cones.
Some residents have even gone as far as to padlock public-access gates leading down to the sand.
Price’s app is getting a frosty reception from those locals, who say they don’t want crowds of visitors.
“I just think it’s a breach on these people who have worked so hard to be able to have a beach property,” said resident Gary Carr. “It’s a trespass on their privacy.”
But the truth is that there is no such thing as an all-private beach in California. Anything below the average high tide line belongs to everyone.
“What most people don’t know is that on every single one of these beaches, a lot of the properties have easements on the dry sand that the public is completely free to use,” Price said.
“They’re completely unmarked, so we have a house-by-house list,” she said.
Some of the hidden beaches on Price’s list include:
- Escondido Beach, near 27400 Pacific Coast Highway;
- Lechuza Beach, near Bunnie Lane and Broad Beach Road; and
- Broad Beach access, near 31138 Broad Beach Road
For more information about Price’s project, visit ourmalibubeaches.com.