Protest Planned Over Martins Beach Access

Proponents of opening the beach to everyone will hold a rally Saturday at noon.


The effort to open Martins Beach to everyone will heat up Saturday, when a protest is planned over a property owner's decision to lock the gate on access.

The California Coastal Commission requires public access of beaches where possible, but also protects the rights of property owners.

According to a report this week in the San Jose Mercury News, the property owner who closed off access to Martins Beach, Vinod Khosla, a co-founder of Sun Microsystems and a green venture capitalist, did so only when backed into a corner by San Mateo County which wanted Khosla to cut the charge for access to a fraction of what the previous owner received.

Beach access costs Khosla money in the form of liability insurance, road maintenance, and personnel.

The effort to open the beach is being led by the local chapter of the Surfrider Foundation. 

The protest gets underway at noon.

Do you think that Martins Beach should be reopened to the public? Tell us in the comments.


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Paul McCarthy July 21, 2012 at 04:17 PM
There is no such thing as a private beach in California because the public owns the coast up to the line of the "highest reach of the waves" (highest tide line.) The owner is basically trying to steal a public beach for his own use by cutting off public access to it. Surfers should get someone with a boat to run a shuttle to and from the beach several times a day and send a weekly bill to the land owner's attorney and the owner telling them that that when the bill reaches $100,000 they'll take it to court as damages for denying the public's historic right of access to the public beach.
Lisa Kphotoalbums July 21, 2012 at 05:16 PM
I believe beach access at a public beach is for everyone. Which is funny considering we have to pay to enter now...However, we are talking about a Private beach, part of a piece of property purchased with the house and surrounding land. I am sure, as strict as the Coastal Commission is on other projects such as building on this side of Highway one, they would readily agree that careful thorough planning would go into Any Changes. Especially where it takes away from a land owners rights. Personally, I would like to see it open to the public. That said, I would like to see the road kept up, good bathrooms in place, and the insurance and the rest kept up By the Coastal Commission. Thus becoming a Public Beach for Public Access. Any monies coming from entrance fees...much like other beaches go into the funding of MB. Adding to the above, I too, always carry extra BAGS plural to cart off the trash left behind by others. There is always a lot there to bring out. Which, to me is an irony, as it was my generation who was into all the 'green', pick it up, keep the place clean, etc. and somehow we lost the initiative and/or didn't pass it down to our children. SAD, Very Sad.
Lyle Bodily Clark July 22, 2012 at 05:52 AM
It is really sad to see the end of the good ol days. Martin's has been a place of enjoyment, relaxation, and fishing for three generations. My grandfather, father, and I enjoyed jumping smelt there. Ed Watt took good care of the beach, and the beachgoers. I was just a boy but I could feel that Ed managed just fine. The beach and parking lot was always pristine. The sky, more often than not, the air, some of the best I felt, and the sand coarse and clean. Without a doubt, one of the most unique beaches its caves and interesting land formations. Now the present situation, or dilemma, is a sad note for sure, and a bit disturbing. I know that much has changed in California (elsewhere as well), and hoping not to offend unless you see yourself in this writing, so many people are rude, beligerant, and leave a trail of debris behind them. So, there is a little voice in me reminding me how the owner of the land must feel with having people come to a beach that are not of his/her liking. I am sympathetic to the cost of liability and maintenance. Yet, we live in the USA, which, by the way, is still a country, and will probably remain so far into the future. The USA is a country that was founded on freedom. Find a solution, open the beach, or face stiff opposition the that lock and key. I don't believe in elimination of our culture. Martin's Beach is a small but significant part of our past, and hopefully our future.
Lyle Bodily Clark July 22, 2012 at 05:55 AM
Orry bout that. The sky was, more often than not, blue. Beautiful Place.
Robert July 22, 2012 at 07:13 PM
I too would like the beach open but if there are no private beaches in California then why would San Mateo ask the "owner" to cut the cost of admission to that beach. Just trying to better understand the situation. "San Mateo County which wanted Khosla to cut the charge for access to a fraction of what the previous owner received." "Beach access costs Khosla money in the form of liability insurance, road maintenance, and personnel."


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