Tech Billionaire Wants Supreme Court To Grant Him Private Beach

Billionaire Vinod Khosla has cited the cost of maintenance and liability insurance as his so-called reasoning for wanting to close beach access to the public.

A sign and locked gate at the entrance to a private road to Martin's Beach

Silicon Valley billionaire Vinod Khosla has been enduring a several years-long fight to keep the public off the California beach shoreline near his property.

According to Gizmodo, the Sun Microsystems co-founder filed a 151-page petition with the Supreme Court this week after several failed attempts to make the land private.

Khosla bought the property, which extends along Martins Beach in San Mateo County, back in 2008 for $32.5 million, SFGate reports.

Back in 2010, Khosla took the liberty of padlocking the gate to the shoreline, closing off access to the beach, which the previous owners had allowed since the 1920s. However, he needed a coastal development permit to legally lock the gates, which he failed to obtain. 

A San Mateo County judge ruled back in 2014 that Khosla had to get the permit, and as of last August, a state appeals court agreed.

Khosla is continuing his fight because he said he believes he shouldn’t have to obtain a permit to padlock the gates on property that he owns. He has denounced the California Coastal Act — which was established in 1976 to ensure the public had access to the state’s shoreline — as a violation of his constitutional rights. 

“It was very much expected that when you have a billionaire who wants his own private beach at the expense of 39 million Californians, he will do anything to have a private beach and deny other people their right to enjoy the coast in California,” California Sen. Jerry Hill told The Mercury News.

The California Supreme Court already declined to hear Khosla’s case back in October. Now, he has taken his fight to the nation’s highest court, which will decide whether to take up his case in a matter of months. 

Khosla has reportedly cited the cost of maintenance and liability insurance as his reasoning for wanting to close beach access to the public, but considering that he is a billionaire, money for these expenses can’t be the real issue.

It seems as if the root of this battle is greed. He, evidently, feels entitled to the privacy and exclusion that he paid millions of dollars for. However, no one appears to be telling him he can't have that, they're just asking him to follow the rules and obtain the required permit. 

Why is that so difficult for him?

News flash, Khosla, no amount of money in the world makes you above the law. Hopefully, the Supreme Court will not waste its time on this trivial issue.  

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