February 23 2015
SAN CLEMENTE, Calif., Feb., 23, 2015—Today, the Surfrider Foundation (surfrider.org) declares it will remain vigilant and committed in its fight to open Martin’s Beach in San Mateo, California, after venture capitalist and billionaire cofounder of Sun Microsystems, Vinod Khosla, filed this Notice of Appeal last week. Meanwhile, the gate leading down to the beach has only been open sporadically.
Khosla aims to overturn a decision made in the lower court by San Mateo County Superior Court Judge Barbara Mallach, who in December 2015 issued a final court order in favor of the Surfrider Foundation for beach access. Mallach’s final order required Khosla to maintain the same level of public access that prevailed at Martins Beach in 2008 when he purchased the 53-acre beachfront property, unless he obtains a permit from the Coastal Commission to change access.
“Instead of applying for a Coastal Development Permit from the California Coastal Commission, Khosla decided to appeal the lower court ruling,” says Angela Howe, Esq., Legal Director for the Surfrider Foundation. “This will equate to many more months and thousands of dollars to keep this issue tied up in court.”
The San Mateo County Surfrider Chapter is working with the State Lands Commission to hold a public hearing on beach access in their effort to negotiate with the property owner pursuant to Senate Bill 968.
The Surfrider Foundation first filed suit against Khosla in March 2013, claiming that the billionaire was in violation of the California Coastal Act when he failed to obtain a permit before locking a gate leading down to the beach and posting signs forbidding entry. In September 2014, the Surfrider Foundation prevailed when Mallach ruled against Khosla, saying he changed the nature of public access at the beach without obtaining the necessary permits from the California Coastal Commission. The judge issued her final order early December 2015.
For more information on the campaign, including a timeline, please visit http://martinsbeach.blogspot.com.
Similar access issues are bubbling to the surface in Chicago, Texas and New York, and these legal battles will continue to have a meaningful impact on how American citizens access them.
As it remains true that nobody owns the beach, the Surfrider Foundation continues to fight these beach access and environmental battles on numerous fronts. Join the Surfrider Foundation and stand up for your right to access your beach today, tomorrow and for years to come.
Media inquiries: Katie Ferguson, 949-212-3335, firstname.lastname@example.org
About Surfrider Foundation
The Surfrider Foundation is a non-profit grassroots organization dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of our world’s oceans, waves and beaches through a powerful activist network. Founded in 1984 by a handful of visionary surfers in Malibu, California, the Surfrider Foundation now maintains over 250,000 supporters, activists and members worldwide. For more information on the Surfrider Foundation, visit surfrider.org.