Getting Creative to Reduce (or Increase) Beach Access

Communities and municipalities have deployed a surprisingly creative menu of policies to increase or restrict access to beaches. The Public trust doctrine, it turns out, is in the eye of the beach-holder.

Read Time: 1 minute

August 29, 2017, 10:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


Warning restrictions

Mike Goad / Flickr

Tobias Armborst, Daniel D’Oca, Georgeen Theodore, and Riley Gold share an excerpt from their new book The Arsenal of Inclusion & Exclusion for Next City.

The book "examines some of the policies, practices and physical artifacts that have been used in the United States by planners, policymakers, developers, real estate brokers, community activists, and others to draw, erase or redraw the lines that divide," the authors write.

The excerpt focuses on a particularly scarce and coveted geographic resource, the beach, listing six "legitimate and illegitimate ways in which homeowners, municipal governments, and others restrict and expand access" to the beach.

Among the methods of exclusion listed are beach tags, like used in some communities in New Jersey and Connecticut, "Fire Zones" that restrict parking near beaches in New York, and fake garages that require curb cuts that minimize parking availability in Malibu.

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