Sunsi Bay Access
I am hoping to FINALLY get to Sunsi Bay Beach on this upcoming visit and wonder if anyone would be kind enough to update me on the situation re: access. Last I heard, a chain link fence had been erected and reinforced, but a hole had been cut. Does anyone have an update or any advice.
I promise to pack out what I take in, etc. Just want to visit it and snorkel a little.
Thanks very much!
I know just where it is, but I honestly don't know how to get there. It would seem to me that you somehow have to wind your way through Tabor and Harmony, which has some rough roads -- especially as you get closer down to sea level. I will ask around for you and will definitely let you (and everyone else) know if I find anything out.
Hey Islander! Are you out there? I bet you know!
Here is a link to a Villa De La Vista, which is very close to Sunsi beach.
According to their web page there is currently no public access to the beach, however, you might want to give them a call to verify that this is up-to-date information.
Hope this helps!
You'd drive into Tabor & Harmony, park wherever you found a spot off the road and hike a fairly good distance downhill through the forest/bush along a trail to get to the beach. Since the fence/public access issues I haven't tried to go, so not sure what the status is now for beach access.
The EAST organization has some information on Sunsi and the public access issues at http://www.eastvi.org/sunsiaffadavit.htm.
Thanks Islander. Appreciate the tip.
Mell, I figured the de La Vista villa narrative was more of a sales pitch for their villa....touting that they have a private beach without public access.
I'll email the villa owners and ask them about it. If it is too much of an expedition, we'll probably skip it. I don't need to listen to the kids' groaning and grumbling about a hike.
Blu - this is kinda off topic to the Sunsi Bay Access but I think it answers one of your other questions about the Magens Bay trail. Click on the link that Islander provided (www.eastvi.org) and scroll down and click on Home and then click on the newsletter (pdf doc) and it talks about the trail at Magens Bay. Sorry to go off topic on this one but I couldn't find your question about the MB trail in the list.
Hope it can aswer your ?s re: the MB trail. .
C Urchin 😀
I did hear back from Dalma at E.A.S.T.
He says that the access remains blocked by land. The owner of the land refuses to negotiate. There is a oublic easement in palce now, but the government is not enforcing it. I am paraphrasing what he said.
I am not sure who owns the land and whether or not they also own one of the villas being marketed for rent. If we find that they are the owners of the villas, I'd strongly suggest not renting their villa.
While I can appreciate those that loved Sunsi beach wanting access, I doubt any homeowner would want a bunch of strangers tromping across their property to gain access. Not to mention the liability issues involved. Access from the sea is not restricted.
I am not 100% clear on local laws re: crossing residential/private property to gain access.
If you want a not so bad hike to a great beach when the seas are calm, try Stumpy Bay on the West End.
Bordeaux has a rocky beach but great snorkeling when calm tho a long drive there and back and pretty remote.
If you have a 4 wheel drive (if it's been raining), you can go to Netjleberg. There's also Caret Bay and many others to explore.
The CZM beach access rules apply to commercial enterprises, viz:
"The CZM Program, through its permitting process, does not allow commercial building on the Territory’s shorelines without first securing an
easement for public access to the shorelines. Beaches cannot be fenced off. The public has the right to be on the beach, enjoy them and use them
for recreational purposes."
Public access across privately owned property is not mandated but access by boat is permissable with enjoyment of the beach limited to the high tide water line. The owner of the Sunsi property has every right to deny access through that property.
As Alana points out, there are plenty of lovely and less popular/remote beaches one can access through public land.
Thanks for the clarification, OT(tu)
Years ago, over in STJ, one homeowner that lived on a lovely vey private beach kept a shotgun handy and had several dogs to help enforce her no tresspassing rule. If you come into the beach up to highwater mark, no problem as per above but if not, watch out!:-o
Years ago, over in STJ, one homeowner that lived on a lovely vey private beach kept a shotgun handy and had several dogs to help enforce her no tresspassing rule. /quote]
As I recall that was Mrs. Gibey, right? I never had a close encounter with her but had several friends who did. She made it VERY clear that her private property was her private property and had quite a marvellous reputation in that respect!
It's hard on those who used the path to Sunsi bay for many years and had good times there as children to find the beach closed off. The construction is on a neighboring property, not the one that belongs to the man (Vento) who built the fence across the trail. In his defense, he and his family have donated a lot of money to VI charity organizations, but whether or not he actually feels this way, it still makes it look like the rich guy doesn't want the commoners barging in on his little private empire.
A big part of the problem is that the VI law is not very specific; it guarantees public access to beaches but doesn't specify that access can be by water only. Many people interpret the intent of the law to mean access by land, DPNR does not agree with this interpretation. I suspect the original intent of the law was indeed meant to include access by land, but when litigation became more common and owners began to realize they had serious liability issues, the law as reinterpreted to protect the landowners.
Good Morning, Davis!
I think the CZM access laws are clear and specific and I don't believe it was ever the intent of the body that private landowners should provide public access to the shoreline.
Put yourself in the shoes of a private landowner. Would you really appreciate being forced to create a path going right past your house, open to the public at any time of the day or night so that all and sundry can get to "your" beach? How about the inevitable parking hassles, how about all the garbage and beach clean-up? How about the total invasion of your privacy? Methinks that few would spend the huge amount of money to either purchase and build on oceanfront property or invest in an existing home under such circumstances ...