Billionaire Objects To Private Beach In California Being Opened To The Public

The public has a right to use Martins Beach says the highest court in the state of California. That may not turn out to be the case though as the United States Supreme Court is set to take a look at this case in the near future. They could very well decide that the billionaire actually has private property rights that he can defend and keep people off of his beach.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the California Supreme Court ruled that excluded people from the beach was not permitted unless the owner first sought the permission of the government to do so. Lawyers for the billionaire owner say that the right to exclude is the basis of property rights in America. They are going to have their case heard by the Supreme Court.

Vinod Khosla is the co-founder of Sun Microsystems and the billionaire in question. He purchased Martins Beach and other areas of beautiful property in California for more than thirty million dollars in 2008. The previous owners of the property had allowed the public to use the area for the last seventy years. However, Khosla shut it down citing the costs of maintenance and other factors.

The area has been closed to the public since 2010. It may now be re-opened in the near future depending upon how the US Supreme Court rules. Khosla has gone back and forth on keeping the gates open to the public in recent months. He has at times opened them, but he insists that he will only keep them open if the state government provides him $30 million for a public easement to be built. That is a non-starter with the state government at this time, so the impasse remains between Khosla and the State of California.

How will this eventually be sorted out? That is very difficult to say at this time. There are arguments to be made on both sides to be certain. The difficulty with cases like these are weighing out the pros and cons of taking the battle in one direction or another. Constitutional scholars could argue it both ways.

The purpose of the Supreme Court is to sort out disputes just like this one for the rest of the country. They will definitely be put to the test with this battle, but there is nothing wrong with that. We would all hope that they will make the right decisions for the betterment of the entire country going forward.



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