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.


 Follow us on Twitter here | Like Half Moon Bay Patch here | Sign up for our daily newsletter | Blog for Half Moon Bay Patch here



Bryon Wright July 20, 2012 at 05:22 PM
Although I believe that beach access should be for everyone, especially at Martin's, it takes a simple walk from my house along the Ritz -> Redondo Beach -> Poplar Beach to see how disrespectful people are to our environment. I try to do my part by bringing a bag to clean up trash but diapers and doggie doodoo bags? Come on people, the beach is to share and not trash! If people could stop littering then we'll be allowed to go where we want. I take walks from a short stretch of beach in HMB (Redondo -> Poplar) and on an empty day I find the usual flotsam that drifted in: buoys, tires, fishing lures, clothing and plastic everywhere. I have stopped taking walks on Mondays for the reason that I find the above but including: Beer bottles, dirty diapers (more than you care to know), needles (shooting up is a great beach experience?), shoes, trash in greater amounts, and the strangest thing I saw was a guy.. scavenging through bags of clothing and a tent that were thrown over a cliff. I fully understand the Surfrider Foundation's stance on the issue of reopening Martin's Beach, or at least the "enjoyment" part when reopening will not "protect" the beach, unless of course: 1) Humanity would stop acting childish and clean up after themselves (as a former boy scout, I was forced to clean up campsites so this stuck with me, even if carrying a surfboard) 2) A cleanup crew be posted at the beach, perhaps as a fine for littering?
Joan S. Dentler (Editor) July 20, 2012 at 10:37 PM
Martins Beach was a favorite of my family when my kids were young. Back "in the day" we would sneak away to MB with our dog who loved it there too. It is one of the prettiest beaches in in our area---and although I understood the dog ban of a few years ago (thanks to irresponsible dog owners), I still can't believe the public does not have access. Give us access Mr. Khosla. Go Surfriders GO!
Robert July 21, 2012 at 05:10 AM
From what i see, its a private beach not a public beach. So wouldnt that imply i can hang out at your place just because i think i should be able to? Maybe i am missing something here.
Beatrice Karnes July 21, 2012 at 06:15 AM
Bryon, It warms my heart to know that there's someone besides me who never goes for a walk without a trash bag. I consider it the least that I can do in exchange for enjoying the stunning beauty with which we are surrounded. I sometimes chastise myself for spending too much time looking down instead of enjoying what is around me, but when my bag is full, I consider myself finished--I've done my part. Then I relax and just focus on the beauty surrounding me.
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."


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something