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Andrew K

HRBT beach access

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i know some of you fish the base of the HRBT, some do not, parking and access is always a pain, well now its even worse...

Saturday night while fishing on the beach with a buddy right next to the bridge we were approached by the marine police who gave us a rashin' of sh*t for trespassing. according to him the beach from the bridge all the way down to the small jetty is private property. i asked the officer if something had changed, he said no its always been private property and the signs have always been posted, they are just tired of getting complaints from the people that live in those two condo/apartment buildings right there and they are starting to crack down. while we did not get any tickets for trespassing, my buddy got one for not having his license on him (yeah i know dumb mistake), and the cop did follow us back to our vehicles.

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After talks with VCAN about the access issue, here is what Mark said:

"That said, there is plenty to discuss here as there is a lot of access history that Doc and I have discussed since being involved in it with VCAN over the last 5+yrs. The how and why the jetty (terminal groin) got built in late `80s etc. Bottom line in our non-profit’s last effort to improve public access at the Spit at a VMRC public hearing on 4/27/10, the City stated that the deeds/survey for the property from the groin to the bridge are private property to the mean low water mark and that the access at the end of Chela is a City utility easement. Hence, our only current legal defense to access that is by ingress from the public beach into the water and then wading in front of the private property as they do not own the water. Technically as soon as you set foot on dry sand your trespassing. The only way that can change is if Norfolk residents (with our non-profit support) request the City (moreover City Council) to recognize this as being a public access location with rationale of historical public use giving rise to prescriptive easement rights and the fact that it adjoins the public beach, fact that their private property has benefitted from public monies (City tax dollars). I doubt this is doable unless there was a large groundswell of support by non-Spit city residents, or if the City were to benefit in some unforeseen way, and/or if key City staff changed their interpretation of the current property designation. Again there’s a lot of history here including a court case in the `80s regarding the private properties located west of the jetty."

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Hummm, this sound good too me... for some of this private places :icon_scratch:

After talks with VCAN about the access issue, here is what Mark said:

" Hence, our only current legal defense to access that is by ingress from the public beach into the water and then wading in front of the private property as they do not own the water. Technically as soon as you set foot on dry sand your trespassing. ."

" as they do not own the water ":icon_viking:

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