Peralta Community College District's Only Student-Run Publication
Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

    Senator Hill urges Governor Brown to sign SB-968

    SB 968 would require the State Lands Commission to enter into negotiations with Martins Beach property owner Vinod Khosla, in an effort to restore public access to Martins Beach near Half Moon Bay.

    The battle to restore public access to Martins Beach has become the focus of a nationally watched legal battle, pitting the beach-access rights of Californians against the rights of a wealthy landowner. Governor Jerry Brown has until the end of the month to sign or veto SB 968.

    SB 968 was created after Californians were denied access to Martins Beach by Khosla, a Silicon Valley billionaire who co-founded Sun Microsystems. Khosla, who bought the coastal property in 2008, has been battling to close access to Martins Beach since 2010. Previous owners of the property allowed the public to cross their land and visit the beach for a small fee. Khosla followed that same practice before changing his mind 2 years after purchasing the property.

    Khosla’s rights to control the beach are currently protected through a ruling issued by Judge Gerald Buchwald. Judge Buchwald concluded that the billionaire can block public access to the beach as justified by an exemption granted by the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, the treaty that ended the Mexican-American War. The judge concluded that Khosla’s property is not subject to aspects of the California Constitution because it was originally a ranch that predated California’s statehood.

    The California Coastal Commission was initiated by voters in 1972 to protect and preserve the 1,100 miles that make up California’s coastline. In 1976 The California Coastal Act was passed by the state legislature and made permanent. Molly Selvin, Adjunct Professor of Law at Southwestern Law School explained, “This doctrine is the reason that beaches in California are held ‘in trust’ for public use and one of the major tools the Coastal Commission has wielded in its decades long effort to keep beach and shoreline resources open and accessible to the public.”

    About the Contributor
    In the fall of 2019, The Laney Tower rebranded as The Citizen and launched a new website. These stories were ported over from the old Laney Tower website, but byline metadata was lost in the port. However, many of these stories credit the authors in the text of the story. Some articles may also suffer from formatting issues. Future archival efforts may fix these issues.  
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