Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Constitutional Right to Access - litigation update

An early message from a mystery writer, on the billboard fronting Martin's Beach Rd.
A ruling of sorts has been delivered on one of two lawsuits aimed at the access issue at Martin's Beach. 

The suit brought forth seeking to uphold California Constitution Article X Section 4, by Santa Cruz-based firm Redenbacher and Brown, LLP on behalf of the public a.k.a. "Friends of Martin's Beach", was dealt a preliminary blow in an oral ruling by Judge Gerald Buchwald of San Mateo County Superior Court on Oct. 28, 2013.  (Read more here)  In sum, the judge skirted addressing the merits of the constitutional provision and, instead, redirected the focus of his ruling on an 1852 federal land patent which, he found, prevents the California Constitution from applying to this and any other California lands formerly held by Mexico. 

Surfrider Foundation's Coastal Act suit remains to be heard.

What does this ruling mean for Martin's Beach, and for other beaches and lands across the state? 

Not much--yet.  The judge must still deliver a written ruling on the case, and the case is expected to be appealed. 

In the meantime, the District Attorney for San Mateo County has reconfirmed the County's position that there is insufficient evidence that visitors accessing Martin's Beach from Highway 1 via Martin's Beach Rd. are trespassing; therefore, the County will still not issue tickets to visitors. 

On a tangential note, one good thing that came out of this proceeding is that the true owner of the property adjacent to Martin's Beach, who has been hiding behind the names of Martin's Beach I and II, LLCs, is indeed billionaire Vinod Khosla

Friday, November 8, 2013

CNN Covers Martin's Beach Access Battle

Holy news coverage, Batman!  In the wake of the oral decision on the California Constitutional right to access case, involving Santa Cruz-based firm Redenbacher & Brown representing the "Friends of Martin's Beach" against the property owners of the land adjacent to Martin's Beach, there has been a notable spurt of news coverage about the access issue.  The issue has gone global! From the L.A. Times and SF Chronicle domestically, to The Register in the UK, to the Business Insider in Australia, to India West, and now to CNN. 

Check out the latest TV news coverage by CNN on our YouTube video channel, where you can also watch other videos about Martin's Beach.

Perhaps even more notable is some of the commentary following the coverage.  Certainly U.S. followers have had plenty to say about the ruling and the issue in general, but international readers are aghast that something like this--a billionaire landowner blocking public access to land and waters of the state--could be allowed to happen.