The saga of Sun Microsystems founder and local billionaire Vinod Khosla and his beachfront property south of Half Moon Bay came up in the news again in the past week after Khosla laid out his demand to the State of California if they're going to continue to pester him about allowing public access to his previously accessible beach and access road: He wants $30 million.

The beach, known as Martins Beach, and the road to access it, had been publicly accessible for a century until Khosla decided to put up a gate and assign guards to shoo the public off in 2010 — Khosla purchased the prime, 53-acre property around 2008 as the New York Times reports. He asserts that public demand was extremely low, but this set off a battle with California’s State Lands Commission and the Surfrider Foundation that is still ongoing, and which has made many headlines in the last few years for the simple reason that Khosla is a billionaire, and clearly extremely stubborn, and has no respect for California's long tradition of public easements and what's called prescriptive right of access, under the California Coastal Commission.

Last year, a judge ruled in favor of surfers and told Khosla he couldn't block access to the beach, which had been publicly in use since at least 1918. Khosla responded with a proposal for a land swap, asking the state to give him another property with a private beach on it if they wanted this one so badly. As the Chron reported in December, Jennifer Lucchesi of the state Lands Commission said, "My sense is that he feels he has a right to have that beach [to himself. Unfortunately, he doesn’t, and I don’t know what it is going to take for him to understand that." At the time, the state offered him some compensation for the proposed easement on the beach road, but that was not disclosed.

The latest salvo has landed Khosla on Gawker today — where their headline calls him a "real son of a bitch" — and the NY Daily News among other places, because yes, the whole thing makes him look like a huge asshole who needs to own his own beach.

As for that $30 million figure, Lucchesi tells the Times, "We do not agree with that value, and we believe the value is significantly less than that. We have not seen any backup documentation to support the $30 million value."

Related: Silicon Valley billionaire Vinod Khosla loses lawsuit in beach access case [Business Times, 2014]
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