On December 1, San Mateo County Court Judge Barbara Mallach issued a final order requiring Silicon Valley billionaire Vinod Khosla to immediately restore public access to Martin’s Beach.
Still, the gate hasn’t been opened, and now Khosla’s lawyers are challenging the ruling.
Khosla owns a 53-acre parcel adjacent to the beach, which he purchased for $US37.5 million in 2008. A few months after Khosla made the purchase, a gate leading from the Pacific Coast Highway down to the parking lot was locked, and signs forbidding entry were posted.
The Surfrider Foundation filed suit against Khosla in March of 2013. In September, Mallach ruled in favour of Surfrider, saying that Khosla was in violation of the California Coastal Act when he neglected to obtain a permit before posting signage and locking the gate.
On Tuesday, Khosla’s limited liability companies, Martins Beach 1 and Martins Beach 2, filed a motion to throw out Mallach’s order to reopen access to the beach. Khosla is seeking a new trial, claiming “irregularity in the proceedings of the Court,” “improper orders of the Court,” “abuse of discretion by the Court,” among other complaints.
The filing also claims there is newly discovered evidence as well as an “accident or surprise, which ordinary prudence could not have been guarded against.”
Khosla’s lawyers will have until December 26 to file a brief and provide evidence that supports their request for a new trial.
“We look forward to continuing to fight for Surfrider and the people of California to protect everyone’s right to access the coast,” said Eric Buescher, an attorney at Cotchett, Pitre, & McCarthy, who represents Surfrider in the lawsuit.