It’s true – the gate at Martins Beach has been open. People have witnessed this with their own eyes! It’s also true that the Surfrider Foundation and its legal team – led by Cotchett Pitre & McCarthy, LLP – have prevailed in our legal quest thus far and that the California Coastal Commission has made a point to take action (or, more accurately, a point to threaten action). We are glad for all these things.
However, what is also true is that the battle is not over.
First, landowner Vinod Khosla refuses to accept the court's decision as final and has filed a "Petition to Review" the case with the California Supreme Court. Our legal team is countering with a request that the petition be denied. We expect a decision in the coming months about which direction the court decides to go.
Regarding the gate, we have only seen sporadic openings – word is that Khosla’s people informed Coastal Commission staff that they’d swing the gate wide from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.on “certain days.” This does not constitute adherence to the California Coastal Act, which requires full, regular, dependable access. Dawn patrols and sunsets are part of what California guarantees to beachgoers and Surfrider will not settle for less.
We absolutely encourage people to visit Martins Beach, as is everyone’s right, and to let us know whether or not the gate is open. In the meantime, we will keep fighting for access at Martins and everywhere in the coastal zone – because in California, the coast belongs to all of us.