Hawaii Nude Beach – Kauai Nudists Get Off My Beach
Hawaii Nude Beach - Kauai Nudists Get Off My Beach
Guest Blog by: Tony Young
Hawaii Nude Beach – Dennis Bosio is one of many tourists who visit the island of Kauai, but unlike the typical sunseeking haoles who lay out on textile beaches, he and his wife are long time naturists, now 62 year old retirees, who actively frequent hidden beaches for the purposes of clothes-free fun in the sun. The usual gawkers or religious zealot would never deter an average nudist, but a unique situation on the island of Kauai has gone beyond that.
Less than three years ago, Bosio and his wife were renting a home near Larsen’s Beach Road. In order to access the traditionally nude beach known as Larsen’s Beach on the northeast side of Kauai, there is one safe lateral, coastal access trail which runs THROUGH private property owned by Waioli Corporation, a non-profit organization. The beach is also known as Lepe’uli Beach. At the time of this incident, Bosio witnessed several pickups on this trail with workers carrying chain saws and large machinery all the way up to the beach.
On March 6, 2010 at about 9:30 a.m., Bosio and his wife were on the lateral, coastal trail when a cattle rancher got out of a dump truck, identified himself as Bruce Laymon and confronted him.
”You are on private property and you know it,” he said. “I’m going to take your picture and the next time we see you on our property we will have you arrested.”
According to Bosio, “Laymon was agitated, threatening and confrontational. He didn’t take my picture at that time but did yell at some workers to remember me if I came back on their property. He accused me of being part of the group vandalizing his equipment and stirring up trouble.”
Bosio had no idea what he was talking about. A little while later, Laymon came down onto the beach, photographing him and screaming about sending fifty of his Hawaiian bruddahs down next week to take back the beach. For the record Bruce Laymon is NOT Hawaiian.
“We will run you haoles out of here. That’s all you f***ing haoles do is come down here, get naked, and leave all kinds of shit back here in woods!” Reports Bosio while allegedly quoting Laymon.
Bruce Laymon, a cattle rancher and his landlord, Waioli Corporation, had been granted a permit by Laura Thielen, then-chairperson of the state Department of Land and Natural Resources on February 16, 2010 to proceed with a beef cattle operation on 600+ acres of land directly behind the public Larsen’s Beach. The permit allowed, among other things, Laymon to construct fencing. Laymon applied for that Conservation District Use Permit (CDUP) to install fencing for a cattle ranch, which he has since put up. A large part of it was federally funded by the Natural Resource Conservation Service, part of USDA.
As he did with Bosio, Laymon has made many unproven complaints about public use of the area. He has shown nothing documenting all the “trouble” with Police Log calls on beach activity. Despite Laymon’s objections, the state Department of Health found no proof of alleged widespread human feces, and there is no evidence of a current hippie habitation as no one lives there.
Taking into account the laid-back attitude of the locals living in Kauai, it isn’t surprising that Laymon expects no one of import to refute his claims. In addition, he is doubtlessly unaware that nude beach users are not local hippies and vagrants, but primarily tourists who frequent many nude beaches around the world, and who are more than familiar with Nude Beach Etiquette which includes removal of one’s own trash.
A legal, county-owned beach access trail exists, but this trail had been fenced off for many years for unknown reasons. The County of Kauai failed in its Duty of Care to maintain that trail and keep it clear from the trees and brush that have overgrown that.
It is widely believed that the gentle, lateral, coastal access trail is a public trail, part of a historic Hawaiian trail called the Ala Loa, which no one has the authority to cut off access. Hawaii Revised Statutes 264-1, which incorporates the Highways Act of 1892, guarantees roads and trails which existed in 1892 are forevermore public ways. This trail existed in 1892, and is depicted on official 1833 and 1878 government maps on file with the State Archives and State Surveyor. The State of Hawaii is clear it claims the Ala Loa trail in Lepeuli in fee simple. There are public documents which state this.
The conflict between Laymon and visiting Kauai nudists began in 2008 when Laymon and his workers sporadically removed trees and vegetation behind Larsen’s Beach. Beachgoers who regularly read public notices regarding applications for permits were unaware that this property had been granted permission to do work in the state Conservation District. Complaints were made and a hearing was soon held by the state Board of Land and Natural Resources, which found Laymon guilty of working without a permit. He was fined $500. and ordered to get a state CDUP and county Special Management Area Permit (SMA). Laymon obtained those permits after-the-fact. But this is not the first time Laymon has done work without permits. In 1990 he was caught working without a permit in the state Conservation District above Secret Beach, a popular nudist beach like Larsen’s.
Upon further inspection, it was discovered that Laymon did illegal grubbing and grading above Donkey Beach in 2003, then also a popular naturist beach. Even now, he is doing illegal landscaping work for Michele and Justin Hughes above Secret Beach. The pattern is obvious, though only now are naturist groups getting wise to it.
It was on Sept. 1, 2009 when previous County Planning Director Ian Costa signed the SMA permit authorizing Paradise Ranch (Laymon’s company) to build a fence on the lands which apparently include the entrance to the controversial lateral, coastal trail access to Lepe‘uli. The location is reportedly agricultural-zoned land, with a Special Management Area overlay.
Agricultural-zoned lands do not necessarily require a permit for fencing, but Paradise Ranch sought and obtained the county permit because of the SMA overlay. Condition 6 of the SMA permit specifically requires the lateral, coastal trail to be left open. The lateral, coastal access trail to Lepe‘uli is believed by many to be part of the Ala Loa, an ancient Hawaiian trail that goes around the entire coast of Kaua‘i along near the sea. This is a different trail than the steep, county owned trail overgrown with brush and trees mentioned earlier. In 2010 the County of Kauai acquired another steep, liability-laden trail in the immediate area it leases from Waioli Corporation, which excludes a large number of beachgoers like the elderly due to its steepness.
One of the conditions of the county SMA permit was that the location of the fence was subject to approval by the state Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) and Na Ala Hele, Hawai‘i’s state trail and access program. Such approval was never given, as evidenced by a June 27, 2011 memo to current county Planning Director Michael Dahilig from state Department of Land and Natural Resources chairperson William Aila.
In a Sept. 9, 2009 memo, Na Ala Hele said there may be a historical trail that once traversed the property, but the government did not make a claim for any trails through the property when the land was registered in the Land Court system in 1943. William Aila’s June 27, 2011 memo discredited that 2009 memo, saying it did not represent the position of the department with respect to claiming roads and trails in Land Courted property. Thus, the state CAN claim a historic trail in Lepe’uli, or any other Land Court property should it desire to do so. Aila’s memo was also signed by two Deputy Attorney Generals.
Kaua‘i resident Linda Sproat, represented by Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation and supported by Sierra Club, Surfrider Foundation and Malama Moloa‘a, appealed Thielen’s decision issuing the state CDUP. She requested a Contested Case hearing.
On Jan. 10, the attorney for Paradise Ranch sent a letter to the BLNR communicating that the ranch would surrender its permit due to the long and costly legal battle. Three days later, the Board of Land and Natural Resources (BLNR) voided the permit, rendering the need for a Contested Case moot.
However, Laymon said he would still build a fence. On May 21, Paradise Ranch erected a fence effectively blocking the entrance to the lateral, coastal trail. Laymon claimed he built the fence outside the state Conservation District, meaning he no longer needed state approval. However, some community members contest this claim, saying the fence’s location is actually within the conservation district, thereby still necessitating a state permit. Regardless of its location, Condition 6 of the SMA permit clearly says the lateral, coastal trail cannot be blocked off.
Add to this two years’ worth of “alleged physical intimidation and harassment” on Bruce Laymon’s part, and his motivations become crystal clear. On the night the fence was erected, May 21, 2011, Jesse Reynolds, a 28-year-old farm worker, alleged he had been thown off a cliff above Larsen’s Beach by Bruce Laymon. He subsequently filed a police report apparently naming Bruce Laymon as the man who beat him up and tried to throw him off the cliff.
Laymon denied all allegations with a plausible alibi, and the Kauai Police later arrested Reynolds for filing a false police report. Curiously, the county prosecutor did not proceed with prosecuting Reynolds. Meanwhile, beachgoers were asking Mr. Laymon why he was building the fence. Laymon allegedly replied, “To keep the nudes, gays and hippy campers away from the beach.”
In a letter to the editor of The Garden Island newspaper Nov. 23, 2011, Waioli Attorney Don Wilson said, in reference to community activists Spacer, Hope Kallai, the Sierra Club, and other witnesses and victims of Laymon’s actions, “Their false and misleading information regarding ancient trails, imperiled archaeological sites, alleged illegal activities and physical violence against ‘the community’ have been costly to Waioli and are without merit.”
Wilson punctuates his point by stating that Spacer, Kallai et al are people of “self-appointed status,” and “do not represent anyone in the community but themselves.” A blatant lie as Spacer had been unanimously appointed a Naturist Action Committee (NAC) Area Representative as early as Autumn 2010.
Perhaps Mr. Wilson is unaware of the existence of The Naturist Society, or The Naturist Action Committee, but in either case, neither Bruce Laymon nor Waioli Corporation have ever tried to sue Spacer or anyone named above in circuit court, despite the case being an easy win if one takes his statement at face value. And when trespassers entered Waioli land on October 23, 2011 to take photos of the alleged rock quarry activity why weren’t any of them arrested?
According to the Free Larsen’s Beach website, (freelarsensbeach.com), which is now inactive, the fencing is indeed “illegal as it is located within 300 feet of the shoreline. The State Land Use Commission states the mauka (mountain-side, inland) boundary of the state Conservation District is 300 feet mauka of the shoreline in this part of Kauai.
“The map of Paradise Ranch private surveyor Hiranaka is inaccurate and incorrectly depicts the fencing as outside the state Conservation District, when in fact, it is inside the state Conservation District. As Bruce Laymon no longer has a state Conservation District Use Permit to do work within 300 feet of the shoreline, that part of the fencing blocking off the gradual, lateral trail is illegal.”
According to an article in The Honolulu Advertiser, Robert Schleck, Director of Waioli Corporation and Laymon claim they never intended to block public access to the beach, but don’t want people going over Waioli land anymore. Both promised no new fencing would be added until a functional county access is in place. Critics of Laymon claim you can fertilize the entire island with all the “bullshit” he has given to the mainstream media.
As for the physical intimidation and harassment of nudists and homosexuals, a voicemail message was left with Laymon’s attorney requesting comment and was not responded to.
A more recent development came to light in recent months with what community activists call an “illegal rock quarry.” On Nov. 7, Robert Schleck, claimed there was no quarry operation going on at Lepe‘uli; it was “rock removal.” The land is now used for cattle grazing, and removing the rock piles frees pasture. The rocks taken were used to restore two of the island’s reservoirs, he said.
But even a passing glance at photos taken at the site confirmed that the rocks were indeed excavated from an outcrop, not from “clearing a pasture of rocks piled up by previous farming operations.” This is confirmed in a letter from Univ. of Hawaii Volcanologist Scott Rowland sent to community activist Richard Spacer. Mr. Spacer is also the Naturist Action Committee Area Representative with responsibility for Hawaii, and founded Kauai Naturists, which is both a social group as well as a political action group.
One particular photo shows what used to be the Lepeuli Stream, where they got the rocks from, a stream which Waioli denied existed. Like many Hawaiian streams, the water used to be diverted to the sugar cane fields. Today with that practice gone, Native Hawaiians are demanding that water flow back into the streams. Water rights are a public trust and not private property according to recent case law, a fact either lost or denied on the part of the corporation.
On Aug. 23, 2011, County Planning Director Michael Dahilig sent a zoning compliance notice to landowner Waioli Corporation, telling them to cease and desist industrial work at Lepe‘uli and relocate to an appropriate land use district.
“During our inspection, there was evidence of quarrying, thus a violation notice was sent to Waioli Corporation,” Dahilig said, but the corporation was also allowed to remove already crushed rocks as part of an agreement.
According to Richard Spacer, many people in the community believe the “two years of harassment was a prelude to getting the whole area sanitized for the rock quarry operation.”
Laymon and Waioli simply didn’t want the public to wander around and notice such activity, but the public took notice anyway. For over a year trucks hauled rocks out of the area and the quarrying created, loud noise, dust, and truck traffic.
“There are laws,” says Spacer, “ requiring permits in Hawaii for many activities, such as erecting fences and quarrying. Waioli did not bother to apply for a permit to quarry. None would have been granted if they did, so they went ahead and quarried anyway in violation of the law. This was a multi-million dollar project. Laymon also violated his county permit that said the lateral, coastal trail could not be blocked.”
To date, no harassment of naturist beach users has taken place for several months. Spacer has a petition before the Kauai County Planning Commission to revoke the SMA permit of Paradise Ranch and order the fencing removed with fines imposed. His petition has been deferred indefinitely.
Special Thanks to Richard Spacer!