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

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