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Billionaire Landowner To Testify In Court Over His Closing Off Access To Popular Peninsula Beach

MARTINS BEACH (KCBS)— A billionaire venture capitalist is expected to testify Monday afternoon in a Redwood City courtroom in a case where he's accused of violating public access laws when he closed off part of a San Mateo County beach.

Martins Beach, just south of Half Moon Bay, has been popular with surfers and swimmers alike and had been open to the public for 100 years.

Vinod Khosla, co-founder of Sun Microsystems, is accused of blocking the only road to the beach after he bought a 53-acre parcel in 2008 that included the access road.

Billionaire Landowner To Testify In Court Over Martins Beach Access

There have been a series of lawsuits over the past year including the latest brought by the Surfrider Foundation, which alleges closing the access to Martins Beach is a violation of public access provisions of the 1976 California Coastal Act.

A judge ruled last year that the land, which originated from a Mexican land grant, doesn't fall under California's domain and Khosla's attorney said that would include coastal commission regulations.

Khosla managed to keep his identity secret as the person who purchased the property through an LLC until recently.

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