The Supreme Court has declined to hear a case brought by a Silicon Valley billionaire who wanted the right to gate off an access road to a beach on his property, The Los Angeles Times reports. Co-founder of Sun Microsystems, Vinod Khosla, bought a $32.5 million, 89-acre property on California’s Martin’s Beach in 2008. The previous owners had maintained a “public bathroom, parking lot, even a general store” on the beach, with visitors having to pay a small fee to enter. Khosla claimed that the beach was running at a loss, and he eventually placed a gate and security guards on Martin’s Beach Road with “Do Not Enter” signs. Various public interest groups sued Khosla for keeping the beach to himself. Khosla claimed that the case was about “private property rights” rather than public beach access. With the Supreme Court denying his appeal, Khosla now has to abide by a California law that “declares that access to the beach is a fundamental right guaranteed to everyone.” “Beaches are public in California, and the immensely wealthy must comply with the Coastal Act just like everyone else,” Joseph Cotchett, lead attorney for the Surfrider Foundation, told the Times.
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