Silicon Valley Billionaire Loses Bid to Kick Public Off Beach
The California billionaire who blocked off public access to a popular beach must immediately open its gates, according to a state appeals court ruling. Silicon Valley venture capitalist Vinod Khosla tried to halt decades of public access to Martins Beach in Northern California when he bought 89 acres surrounding it and chained off the entry road. The First District Court of Appeals in San Francisco ruled on Thursday that he violated the California Coastal Act when he shut off access. In a 50-page ruling, the court ordered that Khosla must reopen the gates immediately. “This is one of the most important issues of the day,” said Joe Cotchett, an attorney for the environmental group that filed the lawsuit. “Can wealthy individuals buy up our beautiful beaches and say, ‘Screw you, you can’t walk to the water any more?’” Khosla is expected to appeal the decision.