Silicon Valley Billionaire's Effort to Keep Surfers Off Beach Is a Total Wipeout
Sun Microsystems co-founder Vinod Khosla really wants to keep the public off of his stretch of the coastline—so much so, that he petitioned to have his case heard by the nation’s highest court. On Monday, however, the Supreme Court decided that it won’t hear the Silicon Valley billionaire’s appeal.
Khosla’s San Mateo County property sits on Martins Beach and is the only access point to the public beach. A county judge ruled in 2014 that the venture capitalist needed to obtain a permit before padlocking the gated entrance to the property. Khosla’s petition with the Supreme Court argued that he shouldn’t have to do that. He claimed that the California Coastal Act—a law enacted in 1976 to protect the public’s access to the state’s coastline—violated his constitutional rights.
“If I were to ever win in the Supreme Court, I’d be depressed about it,” Khosla told the New York Times in August. “I support the Coastal Act; I don’t want to weaken it by winning. But property rights are even more important.”