- Billionaire co-founder of Sun Microsystems, Vinod Khosla, is in a years long legal battle to try to permanently block the public from accessing a stretch of beach
- His $32.5M property sits along Martins Beach in California where the last owners allowed the public to access it for 70-years
- Khosla’s attorneys have argued in several courts that it is his right to fence out the public but so far the courts have disagreed
- His legal team is now trying to get the case heard in the US Supreme Court
Billionaire co-founder of Sun Microsystems, Vinod Khosla, wants to keep all the sun to himself along the beach that his $32.5million property in California sits on by closing it to the public.
Khosla’s estate sits along Martins Beach near Half Moon Bay, and California courts say it should have it’s gates opened to the public, and now the case may be heard by the highest court in the country.
‘No property right is more fundamental than the right to exclude,’ lawyers for Khosla said Thursday in asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review the case, according to SFGate.
Sun Microsystems co-founder Vinod Khosla has been trying to legally block the public from accessing the beach in front of his $32M property in California for years
The previous owners of the property allowed the public to access the gorgeous beach for 70-years before Khosla first tried to shutter out the public in 2010
His attorneys argue that the state courts erroneously decided that ‘owners of private beachfront property in California may not exercise that right without first obtaining the government’s permission.’
Khosla purchased the property along with the Martins Beach and surrounding coastal lands from the previous owners in 2008, and he shuttered the public access gate in 2010 citing the cost of maintenance and liability insurance.
The owners before Khosla had allowed the public access to the beach for 70 years before he purchased the property.
Several rulings regarding the beach trasnpired in the years that followed the billionaire shuttering access to the public.
In 2014 a San Mateo County court ruled that he should have first gotten a permit from the California Coastal Commission before closing off access.
Martins Beach sits along the California coastline just near picturesque Half Moon Bay
Then, a state appeals court upheld that ruling in August, saying the closure was a type of property development that needed the commission’s approval.
‘One of the basic goals of the state for the coastal zone is to maximize public access to and along the coast and maximize public recreational opportunities to the coastal zone,’ said the three-justice panel of the First District Court of Appeal in San Francisco.
Khosla again tried to appeal the ruling but the state Supreme Court denied review of Khosla’s appeal in October.