#1 By: Mark Frauenfelder, November 11th, 2013 13:48
#2 By: samsa, November 11th, 2013 13:55
Why not? People are disgusting.
#3 By: Cary, November 11th, 2013 13:59
Why bother being a billionaire if you can't press your judicial buddies into making it difficult for the hoi poloi to pollute your view?
#4 By: Tyler Karaszewski, November 11th, 2013 14:03
Well, he ruled that the road to the beach is private. I'm not sure what you could otherwise expect. The beach itself is public property below the mean high tide line in California, but you might need a boat to get there now.
I really don't know what anyone could expect though unless they don't believe in private roads.
#5 By: Hank, November 11th, 2013 14:07
Ah, but California is a special case. If there is a history of public access to the beach, then it is, usually, very difficult to prevent people from crossing your land to get to the beach. I guess being a billionaire (which one, wonder...) that can pay layers to read 150+ year old treaties makes it a bit easier.
#6 By: daneel, November 11th, 2013 14:10
Society shouldn't tolerate people like this. Private property laws are a joke. Take his house off him, turn him off his land and open it up to the public. Asshats shouldn't be allowed to hide behind the law. You should have to play nice with society or risk having your toys taken off you.
#7 By: Tim Warris, November 11th, 2013 14:12
Sounds like an ideal location for a flash mob. OK internet, you know what to do...
#8 By: GlyphGryph, November 11th, 2013 14:19
Easements are not a novel concept in US law, and almost always applies to situations where a lack of an easement would unduly burden a persons access to land to which they have the right to access. You are allowed to have private roads, but if that's the only realistic way for people to access land to which they have a right, you have to let them use it.
This is pretty set in California law and wasn't in any way unknown to the guy when he bought the property. If you're buying property that blocks off the entirety of land based access to a public area, you have to create an easement that allows public access to their property. It does not necessarily need to be this specific road - if he wants to make THIS road private, fine. But he should need to create an easement elsewhere that can sustain the traffic of people desiring to use the beach if he wants to make this particular road private: Another group even volunteered to pay for and maintain the easement, so it's not like he has much of an excuse here.
That he managed to weasel his way out of following the laws the rest of the people in this country have to follow isn't a reason to defend him by making spurious claims that those who expect the law to be upheld even when dealing with reach people simply "don't believe in private roads".
This is about not letting assholes get away with establishing exclusive ownership over public land.
#9 By: Shuck, November 11th, 2013 14:19
Time for some boat excursions to that beach...
#10 By: IMB, November 11th, 2013 14:22
Eminent domain. This man's property is a blight to the common good of the rest of society and is a nuisance in blocking access to a public beach.
#11 By: Kaz, November 11th, 2013 14:31
But.. but.. but... He's rich! ... and this is America! You can't expect the laws of the commoners to apply to him!
#13 By: gilbert wham, November 11th, 2013 14:56
Even simpler: Have to get off his property? Doesn't say which direction, just off...
#14 By: Rob, November 11th, 2013 15:02
Kayak party in half moon bay, every weekend. Wooo!
#15 By: daneel, November 11th, 2013 15:09
Strangely, I'm reminded of the people who used to own that house on the beach in Newquay that sold up because they couldn't cope with the noise from all the parties.
#16 By: robotmonkeys, November 11th, 2013 15:12
#17 By: Alex , November 11th, 2013 15:26
Unfortunately the easement does not apply in this case. Since the judge ruled on a patent that was granted to Alviso in 1865. That was a treaty that the US recognize the Mexican land grants. Alviso was smart at the time to do this. In effect Alviso owned his property outright the US could not impose restrictions at that time. The patent looks as though it continued through the Deeny family who owned and maintained the property for another 100 years. An easement was never created by the past owners it was not needed for any public use at that time. Past owners have dealt with access as they have seen fit as is the right of the current owner unfortunately. This however does not release them from any current land use or zoning laws of the current day. I expect their will be more lawsuits and trouble for the owner not just from the public but from the public agencies as well.
#18 By: hamish strong, November 11th, 2013 15:38
I've been thinking about the issue of beach and coastal access a lot lately, and frankly, I think that every inch of coastline in the United states should be federal or state parkland for at least 0.5 miles stretching from low water inland. I was flipping through a sailing magazine in a doctors office looking at 100 acre estates on beautiful coastline that NO ONE has the right to see except the owner. Coastline is an inherently and severly limited resource, and I can think of no reasonable explanation for it to be owned privately. Some important commercial ports aside, it should all be public (and if you ask, me, ports as well, though, for all I know, they are already...)
#19 By: Jon Sowden, November 11th, 2013 15:40
#20 By: Jon Sowden, November 11th, 2013 15:53
Funnily enough, that concept exists in the wild.
A Chain is only about 20m, but it's still a cool idea. And, yes, there are exceptions and, and yes there is the occasional asshat who doesn't quite get it - they invariably lose.
I find it odd that America makes a big deal about breaking away from the UK because of (among other things) the intolerable burden of living under a class system and the monarchy, but then went on to exactly duplicate all the worst things. Meanwhile a lot of countries that stayed in the Commonwealth sorted out the bad stuff and kept all the good bits.
#21 By: miasm, November 11th, 2013 16:02
I would encourage and would also support any local kick-starter effort that wanted to supply temporary boat access to the beach until road access can be arranged.
Reading through this has made me dizzy;
The decision was based on a unique set of circumstances dating back to the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, which ended the Mexican-American War in 1848. The treaty essentially required the United States to recognize Mexican land grants as long as the owner filed a claim. Jose Antonio Alviso, who owned the land grant at the time, filed such a claim, and the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed it in 1859. A patent for the 53-acre beachfront property, 6 miles south of Half Moon Bay, was issued to Alviso in 1865.
Judge Buchwald ruled that Alviso's patent, handed down over the generations, extinguished all public rights to the property, including beach access rights established under the public trust doctrine in the California Constitution, which was first drafted in 1879.
So, officially a treaty is being honored (centring around a transferable title/'deed) which allows the blocking of access to the 'public' part of the beach?
Even more annoyingly this seems only to have come to light because they are no longer allowing access at all, whereas previously the 'owners' would charge only $5.
Before the sale, the beach had been owned for more than 100 years by the Deeney family, which set up the first cabin in 1918 and continued building through the 1950s. The Deeneys also built a store and began charging visitors for access and parking.
The fee to visit the beach was $5 at the time of the sale, but the new owner did away with that and instead put up the gate with a sign that said, "Beach closed, keep out."
Maybe a world-wide, rolling fund for these kinds of invasive, public space grabs?
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