Reopen Public Beach Closed by Greedy Billionaire

Martins Beach by Jim Wilson

Target: Silicon Valley billionaire Vinod Khosla

Goal: Reopen Martins Beach to the public.

Martins Beach, a beach in California near Half Moon Bay, belongs to the public. However, when Silicon Valley billionaire Vinod Khosla bought the area for $37.5 million, he shut the gates to the beach. He is violating a court ruling that required him to keep the beach open. Beaches are an integral part of Californian culture, and Martins Beach especially is a treasure. The rich should not have any say in access to public land; demand that Khosla reopen Martins Beach.

The beach had always been open to the public, even when different people owned the property. Visitors just had to pay a small parking fee, which is not uncommon among Californian beaches. Then, in 2010, Khosla illegally locked the gates to the road leading up to the beach. San Mateo County and California Coastal Commission officials told him that he must have a permit to close off the beach, which he ignored, and a county judge ruled that he must reopen the beach, which he also ignored.

Recently he agreed to open a small portion of his 89-acre property to the public for $30 million. That is almost how much he paid for the entire property. The people should not have to pay so much for access to land that they already have the right to access. This is just plain greed.

Khosla does not even live on this land that he is fighting so hard to keep from the public. He should not have any power in deciding who is allowed on the beach. Sign this petition and demand that Martins Beach be returned to the public.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mr. Khosla,

You own the property on Martins Beach, and because of that you think that people should not be allowed to visit it. However, that land is public land, no matter who technically “owns” it, and it should be open for public access.

You do not even live on the land, so it should not be a problem to reopen the beach. It is not worth going through all the court cases in order to keep the land private. It will be difficult trying to win court cases when you are defying the law. You needed a permit to close off the beach, but you do not get one when you shut the gates. The San Mateo County judge ruled that you have to open the beach, but you have yet to comply.

Martins Beach is a treasure of the Californian coast, and it should be shared with everyone. It does not make sense to keep it closed; please return the beach to the public.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Jim Wilson

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272 Signatures

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