No trespassing signs on Bonita Beach confuse beachgoers

Reporter: Michelle Alvarez Writer: Matias Abril
Published: Updated:

Things got heated after warning signs at Bonita Beach told people to stay away.

The signs started a big fight when the property owner argued with a couple, telling them to get off her land.

Lee County Parks and Recreation said property owners have the right to do so because this is a private beach.

However, this affects beachgoers like Randy Evans, who frequents the beach three to four times a week using public access. He wants the signs to stop in order to protect public beaches.

“Been coming here for 15 years,” Evans said. “We’re here three or four times a week, never saw anything like this before.”

Evans reached out to WINK News after he caught a battle over the beachfront on video last Friday.

“The lady in the yellow house behind us here, came running out and [said] this is a private beach. I mean, a private beach, ‘you can’t be here,’ you know, you can’t. She’s putting up the signs, and well, I was upset,” Evans said.

So, where exactly is a beachgoer allowed to enjoy the sand if it’s in front of a private home?

“I mean, it’s a public beach. There’s so much going on in the world that we have to have a place to relax, and how can you rope off a public beach? It’s just not fair,” Evans said.

WINK News contacted the woman who owns this rental property.

She said, “The signs state no trespassing on dry sand behind her beach house, and people can walk by at water’s edge in wet sand.”

She also said Hurricane Ian took her old signs away, so she had to replace them eventually.

While the law is on the owner’s side, the property line is a moving target. Legally, private ownership extends down to the high tide or water line, then it becomes public, but beachgoers WINK News talked with hope the issue doesn’t hurt tourism, so everyone can put their toes in the sand and enjoy the view.

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