Billionaire Vinod Khosla and the State of California Clash Once Again

The Sun Microsystems co-founder has blocked access to a public beach since 2010.

Back in 2008, Sun Microsystems co-founder and billionaire tech investor Vinod Khosla purchased properties bordering San Mateo’s Martins Beach for around $32 million. Two years later, he closed off public access to the popular fishing and surf spot, invoking the ire of local residents and prompting an inquiry from the State of California as to whether or not it was legal of Khosla to do so. (California’s Constitution guarantees public access to all coastal beaches below the mean high tide line.)

Now, the Attorney General of California, on behalf of the California Coastal Commission, has filed a new lawsuit. Though Khosla has publicly admitted to regretting the purchase, he is continuing to fight the battle out of principle. According to Khosla’s lawyer, the beach was privately owned by the Deeney family for roughly one century and the family “chose to use it as a revenue-generating beach-access business.” The billionaire is hoping to do the same.

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