As it was publicized in our sister-paper Bon Dia Aruba on March 11th, there were concerns from social media users in regards to a ‘private property’ sign put in front of a pathway toward a public beach in Savaneta. The owner of the house had placed the sign to ward off the public from the beach behind their home, with the idea of claiming this as their own territory.
It is important to remark that all beaches on Aruba are public by law. This law is called the ‘Landsverordening openbare wateren en stranden’ (National ordinance for public waters and beaches).
“This is a part of the beach stretching along the coasts of Savaneta, where especially the elderly like to swim. To our surprise, several people from the neighborhood have found this private property sign on the premise. This is unacceptable,” a social media user stated when he shared a picture of the sign in front of the beach.
According to him, this concerns the beach right near what was then the Brisas del Mar Restaurant.
As mentioned already, the law stipulates that all beaches on Aruba are public. It specifically states that “in this ordinance and the dispositions based on this, it is understood that public water is water that is accessible for all, limited or not, in virtue of public rights norms.”
The user’s post about this situation received a wave of comments from the community, who all expressed their frustration and disapproval. This type of situation has already happened repeatedly all across the island.
On Wednesday, the Bureau of City Inspector informed through a press release that on March 9th, there was a complain where a neighbor in Savaneta called to inform that there are piles of trash along the street and that the pathway towards the beach had been closed off with tree branches.
They then deployed a team on the site to speak with the homeowner. “The inspectors explained that the homeowner was not allowed to close off the pathway, because this is and will stay open to the public. They had given the owner 24 hours to remove all trash around the premise and to open the pathway. When the BCI checked in on the house, they noticed that the owner had indeed cleaned the premise and that the sign was removed. Additionally, they have noticed that other homeowners along the coast have also put up fences blocking the beach, so they will be contacting them immediately to remove these.”
No matter how close to the beach you reside, no homeowner, hotel or accommodation is allowed to privatize and/or block any part of Aruba’s beaches or water.