According to a report on SFGate, a group of surfers are suing the landowner of Martin’s Beach for blocking access to the beach and closing the only road into the site.
Attorneys for the Surfrider Foundation filed the lawsuit on Tuesday against Martin's Beach LLC in San Mateo County Superior Court.
Martin’s Beach has been closed to the public since 2008 after the owner decided he did not want to operate the concession business — the road had been open to the public for a fee, and the previous owner had operated a concession business at the beach, according to the SFGate article.
Not long after the property changed hands, the billboard was painted over and a keycard gate was installed to keep out the public. The Surfrider's San Mateo County Chapter started a campaign with allies to open Martin's Beach to the public once again. A campaign website with more information can be found here.
The suit claims the owner of Martin's Beach is violating the California Coastal Act by blocking the only access road from Highway 1 to the shoreline, which is public.
But the question of whether the private owners have a legal obligation to provide the public with beach access is one the courts will have to decide.
The beach closure gained widespread attention after five surfers were arrested for trespassing last year. The criminal case was later dropped.
Read the full report here on SFGate.
Do you think the surfers have a case? Should private owners have a legal obligation to provide the public with beach access?