As reported on the Surfrider Foundation Coastal Blog, on Friday, December 5, San Mateo County Superior Court judge Barbara J Mallach provided clarity to her final ruling issued November 12, in which she ruled that Khosla's changes to the property--including permanently locking the gate across Martins Beach Rd--constituted development and therefore require a permit from the California Coastal Commission. Clarification came in the form of a Final Order from the court, which amongst other things orders Khosla to open the gate and restore access to what it was when he bought the property.
For those who have been wondering when the gate would be required to be reopened, the time has come. We have arrived. Open, Sesame!
Photo credit: Anneliese Agren
But Khosla has yet to comply.
Following on the heels of this order, the California Coastal Commission sent its own clarifying message to Khosla, via the property manager Steven Baugher. In case the threat of law is not motivation enough to comply, the Commission sent a seven page letter stating that the property owner is in violation of the Coastal Act for unpermitted development including but not limited to the locking of the gate to bar public access, use of security guards, pursuit of trespassing enforcement against visitors, and placement of signs to deter access, AND that these violations are subject to various fines, including a fine of up to $11,250 per day per violation and $15,000 per day per violation, respectively. AND the Commission notes that the fines are cumulative from the notice of violation, which was sent in 2011. Although Khosla is a billionaire, fines racking up to potentially tens of millions of dollars would probably not go unnoticed.
In the Commission letter, the Commission gave Baugher until Dec. 22 to respond and work to resolve this violation amicably.