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The most beautiful beach you'll never see

After the recent court ruling, Web Link, it is certainly possible that the public will never again be allowed to visit Martin's Beach. It would be hard to argue that this is not one of the most unique and interesting areas on the California coast. Disregard the aging structures and dilapidated facilities (at least they were before it closed a few years ago), the beach itself is world class. Even among our most beautiful Coastside beaches it stands out. And this is certainly why Vinod Khosla bought it. It is hard to dismiss it as a black and white property rights issue. No one would care, of course, if the road led to a barren field or even 'just another beach.' But Martin's Beach is neither. Should the public access through private property be altered because of what's on the other side?


Comments

My daughter was married on Martins Beach & everyone who came loved it.

If some organization would come forward to provide insurance, life guard, maintenance for the beach, cleanups, restrooms & road maintenance etc.you know what slobs people can be. A minimum fee can be charged along with a fee collector, our state beaches charge fees. If some one would step up & do all this maybe the rich owner would relent & open the beach to the public without having to worry about someone suing his deep pockets. There's always an ambulance chaser waiting in the bushes to sue anyone.

If it was mine i wouldn't want to open it to the public for fear of getting sued & be out of pocket responsible for all the upkeep. My pockets have holes in them!


First of all, the public is allowed to visit Martin's Beach. They simply are not allowed to trespass over private property to do so.

The owner of the property could solve the problem by keeping the access road open, denying access of autos but allowing pedestrians and charging a couple of hundred dollars per person to walk down to the beach.

Anyone if favor of public access to Bill Murray's back yard?


Say Pfeiffer Beach in Big Sur was on the other side. Or Yosemite Valley. Would it matter? Is Martin's Beach 'significant' enough that a public easement be required? I suppose if through my yard was the only way down to Montara Beach I would expect that people would demand access.


the last time I had a bright idea....

hey,

there is a thing called a cultural easement-

do you get it?

There are a thousand ways to address this issue if Khosla wants to.

If not,

it'll be the rednecks vs the surfers circa 1980's style...

I know several ways down to Martins if anyone really wants to know.

OCCUPY OUR BEACHES!!!

We could if we wanted to...


Martin's Beach is a jewel, no question; but we are so blessed here on the SMC coastline that we know it is but one jewel of many. That is simply an observation on my part and just one person's opinion.

I also feel quite strongly about property rights and support an owner's right to do what s/he wishes on and with their property, within the limits of the stated laws (local through fed). For example: if this owner wanted to open a brothel on that property, I would be very hard pressed to support it as that would be illegal.

The Coastal Act is law in CA. It has been for decades. One of the issues with that law and all its tentacles is the interpretation of that law and all its tentacles. The CA Coastal Commission serves the interpretation aspect (or at least that is their charge), but we all know that just because they say it doesn't make it so - hence the judicial aspect.

In this case, we have a plethora of sub-issues, but based on the judicial ruling that Bill provided above, a ruling none-the-less.

Now I am not so naive as to believe that that ruling is or will be the end of "it". Rather I view that ruling as the start of it and would not be at all surprised to see this matter continue without real resolution for years to come, with some benefiting financially from that battle (attorneys) and the rest of us losing out (taxpayers).

The point, or question now seems to be: what, if anything, is the CA Coastal Commission going to do about it and what other individuals &/or entities are going to join them in the battle? I may be way off-base here, but it seems to me that the ultimate battle, the deciding point if you will, will be between the State and the property owner, with a fair dose of the Judicial Branch of our State government thrown in for good measure. How it will ultimately turn out is anyone's guess, but to assume that we have the right to tell the current owner what he can or can't do with his investment is rather like urinating into the wind - not very bright. I have always found it interesting when so many are so generous with their wish lists for property they do not own. Simply amazing, and we see it all the time.

When the current owner bought that property, anyone that wished could have outbid him and won. That did not happen. So, I am torn between what I believe are the owner's rights and what the Act says are his rights. I am not qualified to make that determination, but I am as qualified as anyone else in having an opinion - which I am expressing here now (or at least trying to).

If someone is willing to step up and pay their money to purchase something, that is certainly within their rights. Just because they view their responsibilities differently than some others doesn't make them the Devil, or any of the other love phrases we've seen this gentleman labeled. Otherwise, where would the incentive be to buy property at all? Didn't we learn anything from Beachwood, or the torching of the Beach House (by Sam's on Hwy 1)?


All it would take to thwart the would be thivery of our beach is one beautiful and committed woman.

It would be a snap.

Legal access to martins beach.

I know how,

but it would take a beautiful and committed woman.

Talking about money not being at the bottom of everyone's motivation...


Great post Bring Me.


^^^ No one would care, of course, if the road led to a barren field or even 'just another beach.' ^^^

This is California. Someone cares.

^^^ Should the public access through private property be altered because of what's on the other side? ^^^

We should grind through the current law before asking if they need to be altered. Protection of private property rights deserves that much.


I'm not sure we're talking about the same thing.

Here's a man that would spend 50 million to buy a hunk of junk bunch of houses.

What do you think he is goingh to do with that parcel?

WHAT DO YOU THINK HE WILL DO?

The same week he won the judgement, he repaved the road.

The same day he put up new signs,

the same day he wrung his greedy little hands at the thought of his very exclusive hotel/retreat.

Who are you people kidding?

One beautiful committed woman.

I know it sounds stupid...


Envy. Jealousy. Mob Rule. Disdain of property rights. A disregard of the rule of law when convenient. Always eyeballin' what somebody else has versus enjoying what one has.

Behavioral traits exhibited by every dictator/tyrant on the planet and fostered by the rants of this -bigsea-.

The face of progressivism in America.

Tootles!


^^^ The point, or question now seems to be: what, if anything, is the CA Coastal Commission going to do about it and what other individuals &/or entities are going to join them in the battle? ^^^

The could sue to formally establish prescriptive rights. Or they could wait until the owner needs a permit to demolish homes, modify homes or build a new one, but they may have to first establish that a CDP is needed for such a change in use. (Think visitor serving to single-family residence.)

Interesting issues all, but it will take time to play out.


If Half Dome was for sale in Yosemite, there are people who would buy it, if it were allowed.


So what?


Have you ever been to Yosemite? It is the most wondrous place in the whole wide world and places like that should never be for sale. Or beaches for that matter for anyone's private playground. I hope the California Coastal Commission fights that Martin's Beach takeover with everything they have. I thought beach access was settled a long time ago.


HB is right in effect,

this isn't over by years.

This may be a lawsuit that wears a name for the rest of the country.

Cultural easement.

It seems clear to me.


^^^ It is the most wondrous place in the whole wide world and places like that should never be for sale. ^^^

If the sale of Half Dome were allowed -- meaning it was legal to do so -- and someone bought it, then so what? Your need to feel superior could easily be assuaged by buying the rock yourself and setting it aside for future generations. There would be no need for you to look down on those that are better than you.


You just don't get it. Ordinary people can't afford to buy Martin's Beach or Half Dome. We rely on the government to save those wonders for the general population to enjoy and save them from the greedy hoarding them for themselves.


On a smaller scale, think what happened to Moss Beach Park. In some kind of shady deal a developer bought that children's playground for $88K and was planning to put five houses there. The government in the form of San Mateo supervisor Horsely put the kibosh on that plan and the coast side children still have a neighborhood place to play. Kudos also to Sam's restaurant owner who paid the back taxes who nobody even knew about.


Vinod Khosla,

a name that will live in coastsider's minds a very long time. Like Loren Coburn

Web Link

Web Link

I wonder if Loren Coburn gave two squats how we'd all remember him for the rest of history.

I wonder how Vinod Khosla will feel to know he will be remembered the same way?

Oh well,

proves that if you have money the rules simply get rewritten to accomodate the rich,

the uber wealthy,

Vinod Khosla

Web Link


^^^ You just don't get it. ^^^

Yes, I do. You're a typical liberal bully that suffers from class envy.


Some people are their own worst enemy. I don't go to Martins Beach, never have. Don't play on the Moss Beach playground, but at least I can see wherein other people should have a right to frequent those places.They should not be for sale to the highest bidder for their own aggrandizement.I know I am not the kind of person who would think that is acceptable behavior.


^^^ but at least I can see wherein other people should have a right to frequent those places. ^^^

The public still has that right. What they don't have is access through Khosla's property. At the moment.

^^^ I know I am not the kind of person who would think that is acceptable behavior. ^^^

Legally purchasing property is acceptable behavior. Exercising one's private property rights is acceptable behavior.

Seizing rights the state may not have is unacceptable behavior.


If you take away the access, you take away the beach. This will be a public domain type lawsuit. The greater good for the public vs the whims of a millionaire.


Cultural easement.

There is no way to defend a lawsuit like that.

Continuous and predictable patterns of access to our Pacific shoreline is a right.

Fine the guy wants his privacy.

Let him buy in aspen or somewhere.

There are lots of places in America that would welcome his MINE MINE MINE attitude about this.

Lots of places.

As far as I can see,

not here.


^^^ If you take away the access, you take away the beach. ^^^

That does not mean you can take private property to access the beach. ^^^ This will be a public domain type lawsuit. ^^^

What does that mean?

^^^ The greater good for the public vs the whims of a millionaire. ^^^

There you go with your class envy again.

Perhaps you can explain more fully how private property can be seized for public use in this case. I don' think that is going to be so easy in this case.


He can have all the rest. The public just needs a little two lane road to get down to the beach. Why is that so hard to understand? He could even erect a big fence along the road so no one could see what he is doing on the other side. I'll put my money on "people of California" vs "greedy millionaire". And people wonder why we need the Coastal Commission. Who else has the $$$ to stand up to these millionaires?


precocious, it seems you are really troubled with this matter and the first (of more to come, I suspect) court ruling.

There might be a few things that you might want to take a closer look at and consider. Like you, I don't see me having the wealth that Khosla has accumulated. That is, like it or not, a barrier to some things - like buying Martin's Beach. I have been to that beach and it really is spectacular; no arguments there. Oh, and btw, Khosal is waay past millionaire statues; he hangs with the B boys, which is a very exclusive club. A very accomplished individual indeed and I hear a very nice guy and a very strong environmentalist. Anyone could have bought that property, but he did buy it, and as the owner, he has rights and privileges.

I understand your angst at losing access to such a sweet spot, but on the flip side, he has every right to his property; he paid for those rights. One of those rights is his ability to choose who he wants on his property and who he does not want on his property.

Realizing, of course, that your intensions are honest and genuine, some of your comments give me pause. For example: "The public just needs a little two lane road to get down to the beach." really? That may seem like a very simple, non-consequential matter for you (or me or anyone else), but why do you believe that? because there is a road there that has served that purpose in the past? Maybe you would be OK with him putting in a new road, one that cuts between his property and his northern neighbor so folks aren't coming down the middle of his property. Who is going to pay for that? and why should he? Who is going to cover the liability? What makes you think that he is not entitled to the full use and pleasure of his entire property?

It can be very difficult when we lose something that we've had for so long; I understand that. But, over the course of our lives, we see things change all the time; we just need to adjust.

Mr Khosla is not the only very wealthy land owner in that area and going south. Why not fuss with some of the others? I imagine the answer is because Martin's Beach has had public access (for a fee, mind you) for as long as we can remember and the other owners have stayed under the radar.

It is a difficult issue and I am curious to see how it turns out. Mr Khosla is in a very unique position in that he has a better balance sheet than the State of CA, which will be funding the CA Coastal Commission's efforts.

Like I said above, I am torn. I didn't go to Martin's Beach every day, not even close; but I did go and enjoy that beach - and I will miss it. On the flip side, Khosla has earned the right to do as he pleases with his property because...well, because he bought it (and I do not believe he has a mortgage on it either).

When providing Khosla with the lashing that you and others provide, just remember that he may be the focal point because of the property's past, but as you roll south on Hwy 1, realize that he does not own it all; there are many others that have property just like his, and we hear nothing about them or the lack of beach access to their waterfront.

To call Khosla names is ridiculous, unless of course you have met the man and had dealings with him that didn't meet your expectations. Short of that, you, nor I nor any other individual is going to change what is. We will just have to hurry up and wait for this to play out. Maybe, in the end, Khosla will allow a walking trail to that beach - but at this point, I'm not holding my breath.


>>I imagine the answer is because Martin's Beach has had public access (for a fee, mind you)<<

That is significant. As i understand it, there has never been public access - only privately provided access for a fee.

I believe that there should be public access - but at no cost to and with the least possible inconvenience or bother to the land owner. I further believe that when this all works out - it will be that way.


Those of you who are for the property rights side are starting from the wrong premise in that you believe it is legal for individuals to own a piece, any piece, of the California coastline. That land belongs to the people of California and sooner or later the courts will say this is so in this case. Point being,the previous owners had no right to own it in the first place and the fact that they got away with it so long is outrageous. Too bad no one called them on it sooner.

I have never been there and don't plan on going. Go Coastal Commission, because nobody else is going to step up for the people of California. They don't have the influence or the big bucks that a fight like this takes. It's not about how nice a guy the owner is. It's about asserting the rights of Californians to the coastline.


I have to say that I am stunned at the entire first paragraph that you just posted, precocious. I would have to say that by pretty much any measure that collection of words is about as extreme as any I've seen in a long while. I don't even know where to start with it, so it's probably best I just leave it and go.

I'm not trying to argue with you, but I was trying to get you to view this matter from a different perspective. Looks like I failed miserably; but it's all good. Neither you nor I amount to a hill of beans in this matter, so it's really just a philosophy based exercise and it appears we are just too far apart to bother.

Not only have you attacked Khosla, but now you've gone a step further and indicted the Deeneys. I have no idea where you came up with that (part of what I think is your extreme view), but I know the Deeneys and have for over 30 years. You will never, and I will repeat this, you will never meet a finer family that holds all the core values that most dream of - hard work (all the time all their lives), simple and modest living, all about family and the list continues.

I would add just one more point here; it is no secret that many CA residents want everything under the sun. We see it on just about every ballot with some new bond to pay for some new widget. Problem is, it seems we have an alligator mouth and a hummingbird but when it comes to paying the debt. Who do you suppose will pay for this wonderland you describe; "Those of you who are for the property rights side are starting from the wrong premise in that you believe it is legal for individuals to own a piece, any piece, of the California coastline." You have a money tree you're not telling us about?

It's just best that I go., so that's what I'll do. I tried.


^^^ Maybe you would be OK with him putting in a new road, one that cuts between his property and his northern neighbor so folks aren't coming down the middle of his property. ^^^

That's too accommodating. The environmental fascists barely tolerate ownership of private property, and then only when the state decides how it will be used and who gets to use it.

^^^ What makes you think that he is not entitled to the full use and pleasure of his entire property? ^^^

I believe it's because "precocious" and other like minded individuals covet the property of others. The contempt they hold for others more fortunate than them is evident in their every post!

^^^ I believe that there should be public access - but at no cost to and with the least possible inconvenience or bother to the land owner. ^^^

You're no fun ... that's too reasonable.


I'm talking about the coastline itself, the beach and access to that beach. No one says people can't own property adjacent to the beach, just not the beach itself and a way to get to it. I've heard there are little cottage type houses there. He can do what he wants with them. This isn't about the personalities of the present or former owners. If they deny an access road they are effectively claiming the beach as their own, which it is not.


Thanks George for your kind statement about the Deeneys they are great people my daughters grew up with the Deeneys kids, also was friends with the Grandma @ great beautiful, kind lady & her husband sadly both passed away.

Also the Deeneys sisters who are great people 2 passed away we are friends with one of them a harder worker nicer lady around you will never find she will do anything for you. And her husband from an old time HMB family.

So please everyone do not say anything derogatory about the Denney family.


Barnus said it better than me. I agree with him 100%. It's about access to the beach, the coastline, not confiscating the property adjacent to the beach. If the owners old and new had rental cabins adjacent to the beach, I think that's a wonderful idea. That's up to them to do what they want with them. If it's a public road to the beach, the public needs to maintain it. That's what our taxes are for, road maintenance. This is not about personal attacks on anybody but about public access to beaches and not for a fee. I thought I was pretty clear, but I guess not.


^^^ If it's a public road to the beach, the public needs to maintain it. ^^^

But it is not, which presents a problem when prescriptive rights are not yet secured. Were he to seek a CDP, a condition would likely include providing beach access for a reasonable fee. It's only a matter of time before he'll need one, unless he intends to let everything fall into disrepair and eventually become reclaimed by natural processes.

That would be the most environmentally friendly thing to do.


This issue captured the attention of CNN:

Web Link

Not much new information here for those who already know about this. I can sympathize with Mr. Khosla not wanting to take on the liability of maintaining a road, etc. On the other hand, with all his resources, he should have known what he was getting himself into and that he would raise the ire of the community. I sure hope that he would be willing to sell or lease (or whatever you call it) the road to the state or some other entity interested in maintaining access to the beach.


Forgot to say: the video does explain why this beach is so important to surfers and also shows some lovely shots of the beach.


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