A bill seeking to force Martin’s Beach’s secretive owner, venture capitalist Vinod Khosla, to negotiate to open a public right of way through his property to the ocean has passed both the California Assembly and the Senate and is headed to Governor Brown. Brown has twelve days to approve the bill.
The bill, SB968, was sponsored by Senator Jerry Hill.
Khosla secretly purchased the property in 2008 and blocked public access to the beach, despite California law which makes beaches public property. When Khosla’s identity was finally revealed many people were confused since Khosla had built a international reputation as an environmentally friendly investor. (Khosla has recently been criticized for his lack of success, and perhaps outright arrogance, in the energy sector. See a January 60 Minutes for one example as well as the written rebuttal from Khosla.)
In addition to the legislation, a lawsuit brought by the Surfrider Foundation is moving forward, supported by San Mateo County and the Coastal Commission.