Eric Risberg/2014 AP File photoActivists Julie Graves

Eric Risberg/2014 AP File photoActivists Julie Graves

Technology mogul testifies in Martin’s Beach trial

A billionaire technology mogul at the center of a lawsuit over public access to Martin's Beach in San Mateo County testified Monday that he didn't recall details about the decision to deny public access to the once-popular beach.

Sun Microsystems co-founder Vinod Khosla, who is accused of closing the only road that leads to Martin's Beach in violation of the California Coastal Act, appeared in a San Mateo County courtroom Monday afternoon. The beach is about 35 miles south of San Francisco.

Khosla said he didn't remember seeing certain documents, including one from a judge saying he would need approval to close off access to the beach.

The Surfrider Foundation filed a lawsuit challenging that Khosla violated the Coastal Act when he posted signs to detour visitors and closed public access to Martin's Beach after purchasing the 200-acre development in 2008.

The foundation hopes to reopen the beach to surfers and the public.

Under state law, the entire coast is public property, including beaches below the mean high tide. Without the road access, however, Martin's Beach can only be reached from the ocean.Khosla's attorney Jeffrey Essner says the public was previously allowed to access the beach for a fee, so there was never a right of public access.

Superior Court Judge Barbara J. Mallach is presiding over the trial at the San Mateo County Superior Court in Redwood City.

Bay Area NewsMartin’s BeachVinod Khosla

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at

Just Posted

A warning notice sits under the windshield wiper of a recreational vehicle belonging to a homeless man named David as it sits parked on De Wolf Street near Alemany Boulevard on Friday, Aug. 31, 2018. A proposed SF Municipal Transportation Agency law would make it illegal for overnight parking on the side street for vehicles taller than seven feet or longer than 22 feet. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Fight over ‘poverty tows’ heats up

‘What can we do to ensure the vehicle stays in the hands of the owner?’

Crab fisherman Skip Ward of Marysville casts his crab net out off a pier near Fort Point. (Craig Lee/Special to The	Examiner)
San Francisco came back to life, and we captured it all

Last spring, in the early days of the pandemic, the bestselling authors… Continue reading

Revelers at Madrone Art Bar in the early hours of June 15, 2021 (Courtesy Power Quevedo).
No social distancing at Motown-themed dance party

‘I don’t care how anyone feels, I just want to dance!’

Azikiwee Anderson of Rize Up Bakery pulls and twists sourdough into shape on Wednesday, June 2, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
San Francisco’s Rize Up Bakery serving up sourdough with a call to action

Azikiwee Anderson wakes up most mornings just before dawn to start cooking… Continue reading

<em>The San Francisco Peace Pagoda stands tall in between Japan Center East and West malls.</em>
 (Ida Mojadad/The Examiner)
Patrons return to the Japantown mall

‘We’re so happy—it’s really hard to make a profit’

Most Read