Billionaire shuts off most beautiful part of California coast because he is a billionaire.
This is a public use easement. The public has a right to use it.
Have the state or interested party sue him. They can fine him and force him to reopen it.
Once an easement exists you can’t just block it off. He has no rights here.
public easement n. the right of the general public to use certain streets, highways, paths or airspace. In most cases the easement came about through reservation of the right when land was deeded to individuals or by dedication of the land to the government. In some cases public easements come by prescription (use for many years) such as a pathway across private property down to the ocean. Beach access has been the source of controversy between government and private owners in many seaboard states. (See: easement, prescriptive easement)
I was wondering if that was the case. Of course he can’t close it off, but he might be having his lawyers play chicken with the state for as long as possible. David Geffen pulled this shit for something like 15 years before he complied with orders for public access in a similar situation.
If I went to a public beach and closed it off the police would use a tank to run my ass over.
police are only used on the little people. Big billionaires don’t deal with police.
Right now, rich people are taking advantage of the fact that counties are too broke to sue. If you bike down the California coast line, you can see where they are defacing/destroying signs marking public access, and adding chains/etc to close down roads. Their hope is that they can set precedent now while no on can do anything and have the beaches forever.
So what’s to stop people with bolt cutters from taking the areas back?
Nothing, actually that gate is constantly broken and people use the beach all the time. Best part is due to the dispute almost none of the normal beach laws apply since the police wont do anything about it so people throw some crazy party’s down there
Nothing. Where I’m from, every public land has an easement unless it can be reached by a public waterway. Just call up dnr and ask them where it is. Then go in, they can’t do anything about it. I’ve walked across someone’s manicured lawn next to their mansion with a gun slung over my shoulder because it’s the easement. They may give you some shit, but fuck em. If they call the cops, offer to dial the number for them.
Not to mention all the people getting parking tickets for parking in front of fake no parking signs.
Yeah, you don’t become rich by being nice, unfortunately.
It’s a real shame too because the rich have the means to make the world so much better.
Yeah, every time I point this out I get lynched online.
In my opinion, if you are a billionaire, you are a piece of shit, because you are needlessly hoarding more money than any one single person will ever need to live even the most luxurious lifestyle.
You only need so much money in life, once you have enough that you never need to work again, I think it is time to start trying to help make the world a better place.
I can promise I would never last as a billionaire, I am not selfish enough.
You know how expensive those are? Save money, giant hammers is the way to go
Edit: expensive not extensive
Now now, the last time someone got out Guillotines they ended up starting a continual set of revolutions in France. Burning at the stake seems like a much more fun way to do this.
FWIW, the easement is written into the deed, which is a public document. They can deface the signs all they want, but it doesn’t actually change the legal status of the property.
In practice though, people who want to go to the beach are not looking at land deeds, they’re looking at signage along their way to the beach.
Also, cops are looking at signage. When they have a person in the house claiming the folks are walking through illegally, and there’s no signage indicating a public right of way, cops tend to side with the rich. It’s easier because they’re the ones more likely to have lawyers/etc.
This case is different. Essentially, this land was privately owned prior to california being acquired by the united states, and due to provisions in the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, this particular stretch of land is legally not considered public.
Since there was no public easement attached to the property at the time the United States acquired California from Mexico, the judge reasoned, the question of whether the California Constitution now guarantees access to the beach is immaterial.
Therefore, Khosla argues, since it is private land (legally speaking), if he let’s people use it and they are injured, he could be liable for those claims, and have to take out insurance, maintain it to a standard, etc. He’s not technically wrong, but his PR strategy has been atrocious. But push comes to shove, the private nature of the land has been upheld in court, and he can do what he wants with it.
More history: http://www.mercurynews.com/san-mateo-county-times/ci_26142031/martins-beach-timeline-from-guadalupe-hidalgo-vinod-khosla
Isn’t all land below the high tide mark considered public in the USA?
Nope, its subject to state law.
“Ownership of these submerged lands was resolved by Congress passing the Submerged Lands Act,sic which confirmed state title to the beds of all tidal and navigable bodies of water. While this act conveyed title to lands below tidal and navigable waters to the states, non-navigable stream beds are treated like dry lands and are part of the adjoining estates. Waters subject to the ebb and flow of the tides, even though non-navigable, also passed to the states while the ownership and public use of these tidal lands is based on state laws.“
Completely agree. Bad PR, but in the right legally. Overpriced, but the super rich have the ability to own land supralegal within the states.
Clear argument, sourced and linked- I’m surprised you are being downvoted.
Come on folks, if you disagree with him, grow a pair and post your own reply.
He’s simply stating what is, not what it should be.
No it’s not, there is no recorded easement, there was long standing use, but it was charged for which precludes the creation of a prescriptive easement. So, there is no easement by those constraints.
The government has a good case to create one, with compensation, but that is not what you and 90% of the (wrong) people in this thread are claiming.
I couldn’t tell from the article, but is there actually an easement in his land? If so he has no case.
We should organize a reddit party there and all show up. He can’t legally stop us from using a public resource. He can’t call the cops, since we’re not breaking any law.
There pretty much either is or isn’t an easement. I don’t really get the big problem here and why reddit is up in arms.
If there is, he has no case its over easement remains.
If there isn’t, he can sell whatever he wants for whatever price. Thats life.
As a planner, two possible options:
1) It is an easement. No case.
2) It is not an easement. The municipality ends up exerting eminent domain.
In 2016, people don’t get to block access to public amenities. It doesn’t happen any more. In 99.9% of cases an easement is already there. In the rest they are forced out by ED.
In the rest they are forced out by ED.
Sometimes, but not always. If something is seized by eminent domain the original owner must be compensated fair market value. The cost of renumeration and/or the potential cost of litigation to seize and decide value can easily prevent such a move.
Market value in all cases I have ever heard of is defined by legislation in the way of formulas be they by bylaw or state/provincial legislation.
It is never a mystery what it will cost to utilize ED.
There is no easement. There is the Coastal Commission which says the waterline must be public, and there’s an agreement from the prior owner to allow access (a sort of undocumented covenant).
This was just a power play by a billionaire to get a private beach in California. The public will use eminent domain to regain the Coastal Commission granted public access. Now that the billionaire’s dream of a nine-figure priced property are gone, he just wants all his money back.
He can try to sell it, but he’s starting at such an unreasonable price that they’re just going to take it. That’s life.
This is a public use easement.
Not unless it’s documented at the recorder’s office it isn’t. In California prescriptive easements generally require a specified purpose, and recreation usually doesn’t count.
Beach access is one of the things that always holds up in CA. The state is very firm about enforcing beach access. It is public property and everyone has a right to access.
The beach is public property up to the mean high-tide mark, but land access is not always guaranteed. If the state/county had any leg to stand on here they wouldn’t be negotiating to buy the access rights.
There’s a fair bit of case law regarding previously public access over private property being denied in California and it almost always results in favor of the state. It’s one of the first topics discussed in state related civil law courses In CA. Negotiating to buy the access is the least litigious solution. Exercising eminent domain or enforcing previous agreements regarding access means a decade of court and a low chance of an injunction in the interim, all in all a very expensive and time consuming proposition. Buying outright can be done quickly and simply, with a mutual agreement that will preclude court costs or time.
It’s not a matter of losing, it’s a matter of balancing the costs of a decade of courtroom antics
Fuck him. The access was was there when he bought it and now he’s holding it hostage for nearly the price of his entire property.
This is the first instance I have read about where I would agree that eminent domain is probably fully justified.
I’d agree that some cases for transit systems being justified too such as the people blocking a Texas high speed train to connect Houston and Dallas
The biggest argument they have is that the project is technically privately owned and shouldn’t be able to have that type of authority. However, DFW Airport is and was a privately owned entity built by privately owned companies and still used eminent domain. This isn’t a Walmart, this is a massive infrastructural project that would immensely benefit the state of Texas, and sometimes, you need to get some stubborn asses out of the way that inhibit the project. p>
While not popular, you can use eminent domain for companies that are privately held.
Here are some examples. http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2003/07/30/make-way-mall-principled-look-eminent-domain
The wording is that the taking has to be for “public use”. Courts have argued successfully that a shopping mall or something of that nature is public use.
that article pre-dates the Kelo scotus case. While the Kelo case said you can condemn (use ED) for private use, many (40+, iirc) States changed their laws to prevent that from happening, in response to Kelo.
Pretty much everything is made by private companies, contracted by the government. Hell, the trans continental railroad was made by 2 private companies with government money.
Came here to say this. If it was one of us half acre land owners there wouldn’t be any “negotiations”
You know it. City recently took 10 feet off my yard for a new utility right of way, except they didn’t pay me jack shit for it. Instead, that 10’x80′ strip is still counted in my valuation for taxes, and they still expect me to keep the grass mowed.
What? How are they legally justifying that? Are you thinking of suing?
Edit: Looked up right of way easements and in some cases if you go to court you can get property and school taxes split between the owner and the user. That said, if this is a utility easement you’re not going to prevail but in certain states like Minnesota state law provides credits for such easements, but you have to request it from the local property tax assessing agency.
An easement defines legal access, not ownership. You pay taxes based on ownership. The easement is like saying “people can walk on 5 feet of my property”. It is still your property, ergo you still pay taxes on it.
Unless of course for some reason your municipality has a bylaw changing that. That would be the exception to the norm.
It should reduce FMV, though. If I can’t restrict access, it’s worth less than identical property that I could restrict access to.
Utility access is considered priority and applies to anyone for common good, sidewalks likely are the same type issue. Not all bad, had a large tree die (Dutch elm) in my front yard. The city sidewalk stops at my property line but this tree was where its right of way should be, so the city removed it. Easy $2k savings there, though a neighbor’s tree still remains an issue.
You would be against the government paying people fair market value for their house in order to put in a train or highway that could lower the cost of transportation for the nation (allowing for lower food prices)….
But you support making it easier for people to get to the beach?
No, I am against government forcefully taking someone’s property and then handing it over to a developer who will make millions from it. When used for development that benefits the public (such as ensuring access to a beach that was public until someone purchase the access, or building public transportation or infrastructure) it is a different case.
Was it? Everyone is saying prior use easement but there are very very specific rules that have to be met before an adverse use easement is granted, most dealing with length of time used. If it does turn out to be an easement then he has grounds to sue the original owner of the property for not disclosing a devaluing easement.
If they do try and eminent domain it, they still have to pay value and that can get tied up in court for a long time.
You’re absolutely correct. Use of that access over the years created a right of way/easement.
It’s a really dickhead thing to do … in California there is a LOT of private property and public property which is dual use and has access to the public. We have a LONG tradition of this.
MOST walks in that region have both public and private property access.
There’s an implied license to access the property when you buy it if the previous owners did allowed it as well.
Plus.. these are just kids and families trying to enjoy their weekend. It’s not ruining your property to give people the ability to enjoy a beach.
He sure looks unhappy for someone with a Billion Dollars.
I actually read an article once that said when it comes to money, people are most happy when they make ~75k a year. Considering you don’t live in a crazy expensive area and don’t have tons of debt its enough to have comfortable life, maybe take one nice trip a year, drive a dependable car, etc. But not enough where you can live a crazy lifestyle. Might be a little more now with increasing prices of life. But seems like a reasonable assumption.
That was not what the article said, IIRC. It said that happiness does not increase drastically with income past 75k$, as it does until 75k$.
All it is that you need to break a certain level of income to have good level of happiness, and extra money does not make you much happier. That extra money also does not make you unhappy.
That only works out if you’re single. I make more than that but have a wife and two very young kids. I haven’t taken a real vacation since my honeymoon and I worry about finances all the time. I’m in the suburbs of Austin, got my house significantly cheap in a cul de sac, have a dependable car, etc. My salary isn’t enough to be “happy” or “comfortable”.
At 24 I have seriously no desire to get married or have kids. I don’t want to deal with that shit.
You can’t purchase the beaches in California. At least not this one. It’s public property, he has no right to it.
He didn’t buy the beach he bought the land in front of the beach and than closed the only road with access to the beach.
but there was a precedent of public access established for many years by the previous owners.
Not that I agree but the argument he had been making is that it has always been a private beach…at least since The treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo after The Spanish American War. While generally there are no private beaches in California, if it was privately owned when it became part of the US it can still be considered private. His argument is that The previous owners had been charging a fee to access the beach in order to maintain the beach and access road. If it can be determined that this land had always been private then he can legally cut off access.
Can’t block the public’s access to public property by blocking the established road or path leading to it.
Depends on who owns the road… For example, logging road owned by the logging company is the only way to drive into some national forest land. The company can still prevent me from using their road because it’s their road, and I can still access the forest land by other means, like hiking in from the other side.
I’d like to know whether or not this is the only feasible way to get to this beach, and what the case for why there is sufficient public interest that is served by ensuring it’s accessible to the public (e.g. not many other beaches of similar quality around). Eminent domain relies on the test of whether or not there is a compelling public interest in taking over private property. I’d be interested what the state’s case is on that subject.
What if I get like a jet ski and travel around to the beach is that OK?
There are houses down the road heading towards the beach, how could he cut off access to all of that?
It’s a private community of rental houses. I’m guessing he owns all of that. http://www.mercurynews.com/san-mateo-county-times/ci_27252267/martins-beach-new-law-goes-into-effect-public
All property up to the mean high water line is public. If it gets wet naturally, you can use it freely and no one can own it. Beyond the mean high tide line is private, though this would not hold in cases of artificial construction that changes where water goes (He can’t wall of the ocean to increase property size).
This isn’t about the beach being public or private though. This is about using the property to access the beach. Easement grants public ability to travel over portion of land this guy owns to get to beach, which he is preventing.
I believe ten feet above the high water line is public. And there has to be an easement or right of way though privately owned land for the public to access it if there is no public property attached with an access road or path to it.
He doesn’t want the money. He wants to keep people off the beach.
rich people are so weird.
its a public beach, thats the point. Just walk onto the beach
I’ve surfed Martin’s a few times, awesome break. Really not hard to gain access, just have to step over a little car barrier and walk a few hundred yards. No one has ever given me trouble there and there have always been a few other surfers.
Screw Khosla, the state of California should simply take that land by eminent domain and tell him to fuck off.
Welcome to California, and good luck getting people’s rights enforced. I used to live in LA. Rich fuckers who lived near the beach would routinely deface signs pointing to public access, allow plants to overgrown small parking areas, etc. They’d often call the cops on people just hanging out in front of their houses, even if they were staying below the high tide mark.
And California doesn’t do much about it, because these guys own the politicians and the cops. In an ideal world, this sort of behavior would just result in the county getting to come in, take your house, knock it down, and make a great beach for everyone else.
Everyone in the area should just go down there and camp out until he shuts the fuck up like the little bitch that he is. The courts shouldn’t have to waste their time on this crap, someone makes a little money suddenly they think they’re the Duke of San Francisco… Sure hope he never again needs a permit for anything.
Bring along a few police officers if necessary to ensure he doesn’t do something really stupid like physically blocking access.
Duke of San Francisco
Fun fact: San Francisco was once home to an Emperor.
If there is no documented easement he has a perfect right to close access to people tramping across his land.
uhh 8 yrs later…sounds like a good investment by billionaire. teach me
it’s sad. 3 generations of my family have been going to this beach and now we’re unable to since he closed it to the public. its a shame.
Even if it’s private, with no recorded easement, there is a thing called “Prescriptive Easement” in Ca, which could establish access.
Fuck that asshole – scoop up the access by invoking “imminent domain” and buy that shit for pennies on the dollar – just like the government does to poor folks when it wants their land “for the greater good”.
The guy is a class A prick http://www.businessinsider.com/vinod-khosla-awkward-techcrunch-disrupt-interview-2015-9
Trump says eminent domain is a good idea. Redditors: “how horrible, what right does the government have to take someone’s land like that!! trump is an ass!!”
in this thread: “just use eminent domain!!”
the hypocrisy. can’t make this shit up.
Actually, no one here is pushing for eminent domain. The public already has a right to beach access. If his actions have limited that, then using his land to correct it is simply a civil settlment, not eminent domain.
Also, there’s a difference between eminent domain for the public good (adding beach access road for the public on someone’s beach house, which still allows them to enjoy and use the house) and demolishing someone’s home for a parking lot for a casino. One is in the best interest for the community and minimally harms the home owner, the other is a richer fucker just taking stuff.
Eminent Domain. Level his property, put up a parking lot for free beach access.
Beaches are for everyone.
this is retarded. Everyone knows that the beach is a public property even if you own a beachfront property. The lawyers have got to know this, I don’t understand.
Edit: actually, if the land (including the road) is completely owned by him, he has the right the close access to the beach if somebody wants to use his property to get there. The beach still remains public, though, but only accessible by boat or similar means.
Why is San Francisco worth it? Seems like it’s just yet-another consumerist wasteland.
hmm. today is my first day in San francisco. I’m staying near union square. TONS of homeless people. I’ve never seen so many homeless and pan handlers in my entire life, and I’ve been to many big cities (berlin, new york, paris, madrid, london, bangkok, manila, etc)
of course this is the only part of the city I’ve been to, but so far I’m not impressed.
The Bay Area has more than its share of dismal suburban wastelands, but San Francisco itself is an incredibly diverse city that even now, after 20 years of technology-fueled economic distortion, retains plenty of very interesting character. It is also surrounded by some of the USA’s most amazing natural beauty. It’s not as exciting and interesting as New York, but compared to most of the rest of the country it’s about as good as it gets if you’re a city person.
He funds startups for a living, he’s basically shackled to that area if he doesn’t want to commute every day (like most of the people working at those startups).
Bay Area is nice, but $$$$ >>> the weather
so living in a house about an hour from Menlo Park and an hour from SF doesn’t count as commuting?
the guy is the one who created java, thought that was interesting
but fuck him
ok, if you want to have your fence and general land not respected by surfers that’s fine but by engaging in this bs he’s put a target on his property for local surf rats to vandalize. Although….Cali surfers are pretty lame atm, if you tried to pull this in Aus your family would be set on fire
Khosla bought a $32.5 million beachfront property there in 2008 and two years later closed access to the beach.A state law passed in 2014 directs officials to consider taking the right of way by eminent domain if negotiations fail.