MALIBU (CBSLA.com)  — Surfers want free access to the waters of Paradise Cove. Some locals and private property owners now want them to pay to play.

Surfers told CBS2’s Bobby Kaple they are being harassed and forced to pay a $20 fee.

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The battle over beach access is heating up.

“It’s a really special, beautiful part of Malibu,” says surfer Hannah Mehring. “I know that my brother used to go walk through a lot to go surfing at Little Dume. I do think he had someone tell him he couldn’t do that anymore and that was a little bit of a bummer.”

Kaple reports the access area in question is private property leased by the Kissel Company. It houses a beachfront restaurant in addition to a paid parking lot.

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“People are there saying ‘Hey, you shouldn’t walk through, you’re not from here,” says Cristina Post, “and don’t come here if you don’t live here. But there are so many beaches to go to.”

Former Malibu Mayor Jefferson Wagner says the California State Coastal Commission is about to fire off a warning letter to Paradise Cove asking for changes to be made.

“You have to grant access to individuals to the ocean,” Wagner said, “and I’m sure his comeback will be something like, ‘I have a lease. This is my property, these are my boundaries and I can charge what I like.'”

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Kaple said he reached out to the Kissel company for a comment “but they declined our request.”