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Trial ordered in tech billionaire Vinod Khosla’s Martin Beach case




SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) — A California state appeals court ruled last month that the fight over access to Martin’s Beach, a property owned by Indian American venture capitalist Vinod Khosla, must go to trial.

A trial date for the matter, which has been on the books since 2013 when a group of surfers sued the billionaire to open the only road which accesses the beach, has yet to be set. The surfing and fishing community have used the beach for more than a century. When Khosla bought the 89-acre property in 2008, he initially allowed the access to continue, but then proceeded to gate off the access road in 2009 and posted round-the-clock security to keep visitors away from the beach.

The California Coastal Act of 1976 states that all beaches in the state serve as public property up to the high tide line. Since his closure of the access road, Khosla has racked up more than $30 million in fines for disallowing access and not applying for the required permits to change the use of the land.


Last year, Khosla offered to sell the beach back to the state for $30 million, almost $3 million less than what he paid for the property.

California governor Jerry Brown has since signed a bill that would allow the state to claim eminent domain if the two sides can’t reach an agreement on how to solve the issue.

In its April 27 ruling, the First District Court of Appeal in San Francisco said the trial would determine whether if — under California law — a property that was once open to the public can suddenly be stripped of such a designation. The property was previously owned by the Deeney family, which allowed public access, charging a fee for parking and running a convenience store on the grounds.

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