All of the beach is belonging to Vinod Khosla

Martin's BeachBillionaire venture capitalist wants to block public from accessing Martins Beach in Half Moon Bay

If you’ve ever been to Half Moon Bay, you know just how beautiful that coast is. And you probably understand how important it is that our beaches and coastline are shared by all, especially since the voters of California created the Coastal Commission to ensure just that. Venture capitalist Vinod Khosla disagrees in a letter to legislators:

“Martin’s beach is private property, including the sandy beach and the submerged tidelands seaward of the mean high tide,”  argued lobbyists hired by Khosla in a letter to state lawmakers. “There are no existing ‘public’ lands to which access is needed.”

The techie tycoon’s hired guns were trying to convince lawmakers to vote against a bill by Sen. Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo requiring the State Lands Commission to buy the road or obtain access rights to Martins Beach, 6 miles south of Half Moon Bay. The Senate passed the bill 22 to 11 Wednesday. It will now be taken up by the Assembly. (SF Gate)

Do some googling for additional photos of the beach, it is really extraordinarily beautiful and deserves to be open to the public.

6 thoughts on “All of the beach is belonging to Vinod Khosla”

  1. Here we go again.  Our resentment of the “Rich” requires that we “punish” them publicly… (and never let the facts get in the way).

    Folks, the US is a Republic.  We are governed by Laws, Treaties and other legal agreements.  These are binding and may be ended through the judicial system or changed by legislative means.  But we don’t have, nor should we have, “mob rule”.

    California is a magnificent State; with mountain ranges, lakes, river valleys, deserts and coastline.  What a wonderful place to live.  But here’s a surprising fact: only about 42% of the 1,100 mile California coastline is publicly-owned and accessible!  We do have 420 public beaches (that’s on average, a public beach every 2.7 miles from the Oregon border to Mexico!).  58% of the coastline is either in private hands or is held as inaccessible to the People by local, State or Federal governments. [Source: KQED]  For example, Vandenberg Air Force Base does not allow public beach access (or even allow you to be on the beach) for a 41-mile stretch of coastline.  This is Federal land and not subject to California’s “mean high tide” rule.  Tough cookies Californians.

    In 2008, Khosla purchased something like 53 acres of a beach-front tract for $37,500,000.  He de-commercialized it; closing a pay parking lot, rental cabins and a general store.  That is, he un-developed the beach-front.  (By the way, Martins Beach is reportedly about 200 acres so this is not the whole beach).

    The tract Khosla bought had been in private hands prior to California being part of the US.  When, by Treaty, the land became part of the US, this property (including the actual beach) was registered as private.  The US Supreme Court affirmed this (unusual) fact over 150 years ago!  Was the Supreme Court wrong?  Or do we no longer want to be ruled by Laws (that we don’t like)?  Choose carefully, please.

    Look, I’m not against working with Khosla to open up somewhat so surfers can surf and enjoy a nice beach.  I’m not against pursuing an eminent domain claim to open up access.  But strong-arming him with a negative PR barrage and protests smacks of “mob rule”.

    We should be better than that.

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