Gov. Brown signs bill opening Martin’s Beach

SACRAMENTO — Gov. Jerry Brown has signed legislation meant to compel public access to a beach near Half Moon Bay controlled by a billionaire businessman.

Senate Bill 968 was authored by state Sen. Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo. It authorizes the State Lands Commission to negotiate with Vinod Khosla to reopen an access road to secluded Martin's Beach south of Half Moon Bay. The measure also authorizes the state to use eminent domain to acquire the right-of-way if negotiations fail.

“The governor continued his lifelong commitment to protecting California's environment and making it accessible to all members of the public by signing Senate Bill 968,” Hill said.

Last week, a San Mateo County judge ruled that Khosla would have to get permission from the state Coastal Commission first if he wanted to close the beach access road. But Hill noted that the ruling dealt only with the Coastal Commission permit and does not address restoring public beach access on a long-term basis.

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