Locals Feud with Miramar Over Beach Access

Locals Feud with Miramar Over Beach Access title=
Locals Feud with Miramar Over Beach Access
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Photo: Miramar Beach / Facebook

By edhat staff

Local residents and Miramar Resort have engaged in productive conversations after a video showed resort staff kicking local families off the beach.

John Abraham Powell, founder of the Bucket Brigade that helped numerous Montecito residents return to their homes following the deadly Montecito mud flow last year, posted a video on Facebook about the event that took place on June 6.

Two men in dark suits appear to be telling local beachgoers not to encroach on Miramar Resort's beach property. Powell followed up the next day posting the following open letter to Miramar:

Dear Miramar Hotel,

When you reopened, we were happy to hear the community-friendly message you expressed. This community showed considerable flexibility in allowing the size and scale of your operation on our public beach. The one thing we all have been very clear about from the start is that the beach belongs to the community. We are happy to share Miramar Beach with you and your guests. It is, and has always been, our intention to be excellent neighbors.

In fact, yesterday a group of parents took our kids down to the beach after the Montecito Union School sixth grade graduation. We wanted to start the summer right with a swim and hopefully a delicious snack from the new hotel on the beach. But when the men in dark suits came out to greet us, they did not want to take our order. They wanted to order us off of our own beach. 

Honestly, this really surprised us and many of the parents were simply dumbfounded. I am sure this was some kind of mistake. 

To be clear, we were below the mean high tide line with credit cards and hungry graduates. We were ready to support the Miramar Hotel by bringing our families and buying food and beverages. At that moment there were exactly zero Miramar guests on that beach. That means we were the only potential commerce opportunity on that beach at the time.

How about we try this again? People make mistakes. Let’s have a redo.

We want to play nice and share this lovely beach with everyone. When you moved in, you said you did too. To demonstrate good faith, I have the following suggestion:

Please take that weird black rope that says “Guests Only” down. It is on public property. We will stay on the public side of the mean high tide line and smile and wave at employees and tourists alike. You can sell us food and tasty beverages and maybe make some money and your staff can earn some tips. Maybe we could even have a locals’ night at the Miramar once a month? That would be good for business and the community.

Bottom line: It was wrong for the Miramar to ask us to leave our own beach yesterday and it definitely upset our kids. They want to know that this beach is still for everyone. We need to show our entire community that it is and will remain so.

I am reaching out to you as a friend and neighbor and asking you to make this right.

Later that day, Powell posted an update stating he had a productive meeting with Miramar leadership and expressed concerns about beach access. Powell stated, "they assured me that kids and families are 100% welcome on the public beach and in the hotel restaurant - now and always."

Miramar Resort's Managing Director, Sean Carney, also released a statement following the meeting: 

Dear Neighbors,

Thank you for the tremendous support we have received since opening our doors just over three months ago. We are humbled by the overwhelmingly positive response. 

Yesterday, a group of local families were visiting the beach in front of the hotel and expressed concern over the stanchioned area on the beach. We did not ask the group to leave the beach, we were simply trying to maintain compliance with our government approvals. We are sorry that the group was upset and have already had productive conversations to ensure that they feel welcomed.

We wanted to take this opportunity to share why stanchions are in place. Our license requires us to clearly define the area where food and beverage is served with rope and stanchions when the beachfront food and beverage outlets are operating. This requirement is to ensure that individuals do not take beverages outside the designated area, which is consistent with government approvals for the hotel.

We take great pride in being part of this special community. Since our opening, we have embraced our neighbors and welcomed neighbors and visitors alike to visit, explore, and experience Rosewood Miramar Beach resort. All of our seven restaurants and bars located throughout the property are open to the public.

Please know that our team will always make itself available to discuss any questions surrounding the property. We look forward to making Rosewood Miramar Beach resort a treasured destination for community members to visit and create memories.

Should you have any further questions at all, please do not hesitate to contact my office directly at (805) 900 - 8388.

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SantaBarbaraObserver Jun 11, 2019 08:04 AM
Locals Feud with Miramar Over Beach Access

This whole thing is rather silly. There's barely parking for 20 cars in that area, so if you're planning on going to the Miramar, and sitting on the sand in the section by the hotel, which is about 150yrds down the way from the Euc ln. entryway to protest, knock yourself out. The beach is big enough for all and big enough to let the Miramar have its chairs and ropes without causing any real issues. I have been on Miramar beach hundreds of times, the beach is only crowded on summer holidays and the majority of people are near Euc ln., not the hotel. There's just not much parking. It is not like there is a reason to be close to the hotel unless you want to use their facilities. Maybe that's what these people wanted? To be able to use the facilities of the hotel and sit on the sand right in front of the hotel? Regardless, I have seen homeowners kick people out of the front of their homes on that stretch many, many times as they rope it off or lay claim to a section of sand. Although truth be told, none were in suits or uniform but its still the same thing. This stuff gets the so-called 'locals' all ruffled, but this is really a non-issue 363/365 days. Just move down the beach or head up to Hammonds...

BeenThereDoneThat Jun 10, 2019 11:47 AM
Locals Feud with Miramar Over Beach Access

Ironically, "Miramar" is derived from a Latin word that means "to share access to a recreational body of water and its surrounding terrain."

Alexblue Jun 10, 2019 09:28 AM
Locals Feud with Miramar Over Beach Access

Couple things--first, is there confirmation that Miramar owns that section of the beach to the mean high tide line? I'm assuming it's probably the case, but let's see proof in some fashion. Second, hilarious that they tried to toss the bucket brigade founder. Whoops. Literally the last person they want to mess with, the guy is a local hero. Third--if one of their goons tried to confront me it would be a highly amusing exchange, simply because I'm certain they have no idea what their legal rights extend to. It would be embarrassing for them. Last--and this is where I have to say I am most amused, this is a case of two juggernauts of wealth and entitlement clashing. Miramar and MUS families; wealthy, entitled, and shocked, shocked, that anyone would question them. The sad truth is that, were these a bunch of brown families from Cleveland School it would not have been so polite, they would have felt they had no recourse, and the assumption would be white guys in suits tell poor brown people to beat it and beat it they would, or the cops would be called in a heartbeat. So I wonder, MUS folks, how many of you might have recognized that this was an amazing learning opportunity for your children to walk in the shoes of others who are harassed, bullied, and even victimized for having the wrong skin color, address, heritage or annual income. Did any of you think to educate your children on this topic to help make the world just a bit better, or did you only stoke their childish outrage that they were being driven from "their" beach? Perhaps some of you did--lots of lovely and thoughtful people at MUS.

a-1568844029 Jun 12, 2019 02:44 PM
Locals Feud with Miramar Over Beach Access

I know all of the security people there, ironically not one of them is technically white. These natives wear suits. Your point is well made and understood, although the "white guys I. Suits is inaccurate" in this case. @ Alexblue

a-1568844029 Jun 11, 2019 09:56 AM
Locals Feud with Miramar Over Beach Access

The land where the easement is located is owned by the hotel. An easement grants another party , the public, the right to use the property. If you look at the county map it appears to be between the mean high tide line and the small bluff where the beachfront room and cafe are located.

Sprigofsage Jun 10, 2019 06:16 PM
Locals Feud with Miramar Over Beach Access

Wondering how many Cleveland School kids were taken to the beach to play together, after graduation, with credit cards for snacks and drinks.... kinda different world problems here...

a-1568844029 Jun 10, 2019 01:16 PM
Locals Feud with Miramar Over Beach Access

They own the area above the mean high tide line, however a 1975 public acess easement is 20' wide and runs the width of the their property. http://www.sbcvote.com/assessor/maps_pdfs/00937.pdf Since the mean high tide line is much closer to the bluff this may all be academic as any sand that the Miramar owned above the mean high tide line has long gone.

Alexblue Jun 10, 2019 12:54 PM
Locals Feud with Miramar Over Beach Access

Honestly, pretty sure I know far more about the CCC and Miramar situation than you. Beyond that, you're not responding to the issue.

Alexblue Jun 10, 2019 12:54 PM
Locals Feud with Miramar Over Beach Access

Honestly, pretty sure I know far more about the CCC and Miramar situation than you. Beyond that, you're not responding to the issue.

Factotum Jun 10, 2019 09:46 AM
Locals Feud with Miramar Over Beach Access

Do you actually think the Miramar escaped detailed scrutiny by the California Coastal Commission - they explained up front this guest services installation was required to meet very detailed demands by the regulatory bodies. It is the vagrant camps along the beaches, creeks and cliffsides that escape CCC regulation.

Flicka Jun 10, 2019 09:07 AM
Locals Feud with Miramar Over Beach Access

When my mom was young she went to the beach and sat away from the hotel. Mr. Doulton, the owner, came over and told her she could move to the hotel beach because it was for everyone.

PitMix Jun 10, 2019 09:02 AM
Locals Feud with Miramar Over Beach Access

Now that the sand and mud from the Montecito disaster is not replenishing the beach, it will soon return to how it looked before 2017 where the beach was very tiny. That's why the hotel stuff is up on piers with rocks underneath to dissipate the wave energy smacking against it. Pretty soon the public will once again be able to use the beach all the way up to the hotel wall. I hope that furniture floats!

a-1568844029 Jun 10, 2019 08:27 AM
Locals Feud with Miramar Over Beach Access

WHat a complete BS response from Miramar Management! I've been to beaches up and down the east and west coasts with hotels on them and never have I seen this. Shoreline Cafe doesn't do this. They want to keep what they consider "riff raff" out! Unbelievable, not a good way to gain community support or goodwill and they just opened. I was thinking about taking some out of town guests for a walk to the new hotel to check it out and maybe get some drinks/snacks now I"m thinking twice.

LouWho Jun 10, 2019 08:10 AM
Locals Feud with Miramar Over Beach Access

Mar-topia..... Hahahahahaha, hilarious!!! Count me in!!!!!! Since it's been banded in IV, I think we could talk a few thousand college students into coming!!!!

a-1568844029 Jun 09, 2019 07:04 PM
Locals Feud with Miramar Over Beach Access

Somebody needs to mark the high tide line and that's where the new Miramar border wall needs to be erected. Make it at least 10 feet tall and that way the hotel patrons won't have to look at the public riff-raff enjoying the rest of the beach & water. Hah!

a-1568844029 Jun 09, 2019 04:52 PM
Locals Feud with Miramar Over Beach Access

A hotel doesn't usually send three suited men out to tell the public or guests about following the rules. It seemed like a heavy handed way to 'politely ask' the public to follow their government approvals.

a-1568844029 Jun 09, 2019 07:59 PM
Locals Feud with Miramar Over Beach Access

TAGDES. You mean "Jacques," Mr. Super Fit in his tight red speedos. Jacques was definitely a company man for the Miramar, a policer and a bit of a tyrant, but I don't recall him ever coming down onto the sand telling beachgoers what to do. He sure did strut around the boardwalk, though. I had some German lady friends (all in their 80s) who adored him.

tagdes Jun 09, 2019 06:47 PM
Locals Feud with Miramar Over Beach Access

Just following tradition with a bit of overkill to match their snootiness. Remember the original Miramar had a crotchety old guy, I was thinking Frenchy, doing the same thing back in the day. The more things change,the more they stay the same, Hollister Ranch, last month, the Bacara last week.

Roger Jun 09, 2019 03:30 PM
Locals Feud with Miramar Over Beach Access

Someone said not to long ago that there is a homeless encampment not to far away from the Miramar that kinda cracks me up they kick out the locals but they have a camp in their back yard..

ParvoPup Jun 09, 2019 03:16 PM
Locals Feud with Miramar Over Beach Access

You just don't get it yet do you? There are "Serfs" and there are "Royalty". If you have to ask which is which - you ain't royalty bub, sorry.

a-1568844029 Jun 09, 2019 08:03 PM
Locals Feud with Miramar Over Beach Access

PARVOPUP: Well . . . the Serfs have their right to enjoy the Miramar Beach surf, so the hotel and management is just going to have to practice Laissez-Faire from now on. Either that or have the Coastal Commission come down on The Royals for usurping our rights.

Factotum Jun 09, 2019 02:39 PM
Locals Feud with Miramar Over Beach Access

Miramar rightfully is taking a very small area for their guest services on their own property. The rest of this sweep of a public beach is huge. Just leave the Miramar alone. They have made a lovely and welcome addition to our community.

a-1568844029 Jun 09, 2019 01:18 PM
Locals Feud with Miramar Over Beach Access

Stanchions on the beach? This is not acceptable, no matter what the reason. Miramar needs to stop serving food/beverages on the beach, if indeed, by law, it cannot be done without erecting barriers.

a-1568844029 Jun 09, 2019 02:44 PM
Locals Feud with Miramar Over Beach Access

Something really gets in my craw seeing those suits on OUR beach knowing they are being documented so turning on the smiles. The guests (etc) purchase the items in the bar and then take them to the beach. Apparently there is supposed to be a limit (mean high tide line) where they can go an Miramar is saying they are following the rules the county put on them to keep that clear? I may be wrong but isn't an easy way to see where the mean high tide line is to observe where the seaweed and other ocean debris has been deposited by the tide? I know it's an average of high tide over a year + period but still...looks like those chairs at least are on public property. Cannot wait to go and enjoy one of those lounges over the summer.

Flicka Jun 09, 2019 12:44 PM
Locals Feud with Miramar Over Beach Access

What I got from news of this debacle is the "suits" were definitely telling the locals they couldn't be on the beach, period. When told the parents had credit cards to buy drinks and food the suits didn't say, well move to the roped in area and you are welcome to get food and drinks there; that's what the Miramar response implies but didn't seem to be happening during the confrontation.

jdoggydogg Jun 09, 2019 11:28 AM
Locals Feud with Miramar Over Beach Access

Im just happy that for almost twenty years I was able to enjoy that beach with no hotel. That was an era I will be forever grateful for.

a-1568844029 Jun 09, 2019 09:23 PM
Locals Feud with Miramar Over Beach Access

We did too! Our family were Miramar Members and we had a key to the gate. It was fabulous, sitting on the old wooden deck, rain or shine. The best years ever.

rwelsh Jun 09, 2019 10:54 AM
Locals Feud with Miramar Over Beach Access

I was walking there a couple of weeks ago, seeing the roped area, and wondering when the territory dispute would begin. I think it is interesting how the hotel put up all those nice umbrellas and chaise lounges in that large beach area (shown in the noozhawk photo) That area must be above the mean high tide line. If not, the hotel is clearly "owning" that space.

CoastWatch Jun 09, 2019 10:41 AM
Locals Feud with Miramar Over Beach Access

I like the way the locals (pre-Rosewood opening), erected NO PARKING signs all along the PUBLIC roadways anywhere near coastline access... Yeah, those NIMBY's like it both ways.

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