Battle Over Beach Sprawl Divides Orange County

Once again, Southern California finds itself embroiled in a dispute over public access to, and private usurping of, its most coveted resource -- the beach. This time, tony Orange County is the scene of the battle.

Tony Barboza reports on recent efforts by the California Coastal Commission to get "homeowners along some of Orange County's most coveted coastline to rip out the landscaping, sprinklers and all the other upgrades that have crept steadily seaward."

"The order from the state Coastal Commission reignites the perennial clash between the government and homeowners up and down the coast who have sought to claim the sand next to their homes and, in so doing, given visitors the impression that the public beach is their private backyard."

"Some neighbors said they are mobilizing as a community and hiring a lawyer to fight the crackdown. One woman, a longtime resident who - like others here - declined to give her name for fear of retribution from the Coastal Commission, said the plot of grass she maintains on the public beach protects her home from blowing sand and shields her from beachgoers."

"We know it's not our property, but there's really no reason whatsoever to make us take the grass away. It's nothing," she said. "There's so much beach already that anyone can walk on."

Full Story: Homes' landscaping edges onto public sand in Newport Beach


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