Jerry Brown will force open public beach gate locked by billionaire


The headline had me expecting a little ribbon-cutting P.R. work with a crowbar and local TV news.


No crowbar needed. He’s just going to exercise some little-known gubernatorial powers.


There must be a MRAP that Jerry could pilot through the offending gate.


His aura smiles, it never frowns.


By the powers of MoonBeam!


Note that, in this instance, “public beach gate” means “gate on private road formerly used for paid public access to parking lot and private beach.”

Under the California Coastal Act, locking the gate constitutes “development” in the coastal zone, and, since it “alters the intensity of public use of the coast”, it requires a Coastal Development Permit.

Which the owner has not applied for.



“$500,000 to $600,000 a year in costs for maintenance, liability insurance, infrastructure and other expenses”

HOW is this possible???

What’s shocking is how difficult it is for the government to get a billionaire to do something as simple as let the public use a beach that belongs to them. He’s obviously using his legal team to drag this out / finagle his way to a win. Its no wonder why no bank execs were prosecuted after the last crash - it’s no longer possible to win against these kinds of lawyers with unlimited funding and no shame.


Beat me to it.

He’ll have the last laugh, he’ll just patent “method for walking across sand to water” and litigate it in East Texas.


Under California law there’s no such thing as a truly “private beach,” as he well knew (or should have known) when he bought the place.


I think his (the billionaire in question) argument is that, due to some treaty dating back to the mid-1800’s, it actually is a private beach.

For people who didn’t see the previous discussion in this ongoing saga:

The historical nature of the property, and the legal issues that creates, are discussed in depth in that thread.

At the very end of that thread, I posted what I believe is a reasonable solution to this problem. It’s called an Offer to Dedicate. Basically, the landowner signs over the land needed to form an easement with beach access, and then a private trust or non-profit pays for upkeep.

That would take care of both sides of the argument. The beach would remain open and the maintenance would be paid for by private interests rather than by the landowner (who did buy the land knowing about the public nature of the beach). Also, if no one claims the easement for maintenance, it will revert back to the landowner.

The new law demands the Khosla update his land to get a proper permit to keep people out, which makes sense because prior landowners at that site had allowed beach access since the 1930s. Also, there is no “parking lot” on Martin’s Beach Rd. It’s only a road - one that includes a colony of rental properties near the shore. I suggest people enter the name of the road into Google maps and try satellite view.

1 Like

That’s what I wondered, too. There must be countless farmers and other landowners in America who own pieces of land that are regularly used for recreational purposes by random strangers. Somehow I doubt that they are all insured or maintained to that level.

Another thing I don’t get is why they need new legislation. Once the matter is decided, why can’t they send the Sheriff (or whoever else is in charge of enforcing court orders) with an angle grinder?

How’s your uncool-niece these days? She still digging that awesome, non-vegan pizza you make?

1 Like

Well, it’s an old treaty. We shouldn’t have to honor it anymore, no matter what the California Supreme Court says!

I gassed her.

If she was poor, shouldn’t you have used a neutron bomb? Jane Fonda convinced me it was okay.

Creative Accounting.