- Tech billionaire and venture capitalist Vinod Khosla has sued California and the San Mateo County Sheriff over property rights on his waterfront estate near Half Moon Bay, about an hour south of San Francisco.
- Khosla, a co-founder of Sun Microsystems, bought a 53-acre waterfront estate for $37 million in 2008 and allegedly closed off the road that runs through the private property and that the public had historically used to access Martin’s Beach, a beloved beach spot.
- The lawsuit is the latest battle of the investor’s longtime fight over Martin’s Beach and comes just three weeks after the state of California filed its own lawsuit against Khosla, which alleged that he was restricting public access to the beach.
- The decade-long legal war has ignited conversation revolving around public access to California’s beaches and property rights.
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Just three weeks after the state of California filed a lawsuit against Silicon Valley billionaire Vinod Khosla alleging that he was restricting public access to a secluded beach, the investor has responded with a lawsuit of his own, The Mercury News reported.
On Friday, Khosla filed a lawsuit in US District Court in San Francisco that asserts San Mateo County Sheriff Carlos Bolanos has failed to cite or remove visitors that use a road on Khosla’s private property to access Martin’s Beach – a popular coastal spot frequented and beloved by local surfers and families – without paying a fee. The complaint stipulates that the beach visitors were trespassers. The sheriff’s office has refrained from arresting and citing them, due to the fact that there are so many unresolved filings that have been made in the past decade, according to The Mercury News.
The lawsuit also names officials with the California Coastal Commission and State Lands Commission and the San Mateo County Planning and Building Department Director Steve Monowitz as defendants.
Khosla’s attorneys wrote in the complaint that “this case involves a concerted effort by state and local officials to single out, coerce, and harass one coastal property owner for refusing to cede its private property rights.”