The billionaire who wants the waves for himself

January 14, 2014 | Surfing
Martin's Beach: public forever

Vinod Khosla, an Indian-American businessman, is blocking public access to Martin's Beach, in California, after buying a local property for $37.5 million.

According to Forbes magazine, Vinod Khosla's fortune is worth $1.5 billion. Despite all the wealth and assets, the strong supporter of clean technology doesn't allow people and surfers to enjoy the pleasures of Martin's Beach.

Knowing that all California beaches are public from the ocean up to the high water line, the problem is the road that leads to the sand.

Khosla put up a gate with a sign. "Private property. Keep out". So, how do citizens get to the beach if the only road that leads to the destiny is closed?

Martin's Beach is a quiet paradise, with beautiful waves breaking everywhere. The previous owners of the land had allowed the public to access the beach, but green technology's best friend has not the same opinion.

While Surfrider Foundation helped to successfully defend the "Martin's 5" from trespassing charges earlier this year, there is still ongoing litigation to establish access rights to the beach.

"Surfrider is working to try to negotiate a reasonable solution that allows the public to access Martin's Beach", the surfing NGO underlines.

"If no solution is reached, Surfrider will pursue our case under the California Coastal Act regarding unpermitted development, including locked gates, armed guards and restrictive signage".

Vinod Khosla may be one of the world's richest people, but his green capitalist fame definitely will not be forgotten by the surfing community.

This case will go to trial on the 5th May, 2014.

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