A Silicon Valley venture capitalist, locked in a battle with the State of California over access to a prime stretch of beach that was popular with surfers, swimmers and fishermen before he bought it and closed it, has proposed a price to restore public access: $30 million.
About eight years ago, Mr. Khosla, a founder of Sun Microsystems, snapped up a prime 53-acre parcel of Martins Beach for $37.5 million. The parcel, about four miles south of Half Moon Bay on the San Francisco Peninsula, includes the beach and the road. And for a century, California’s State Lands Commission said, the land had been a haven for the beachgoing public.
大约八年前，太阳微系统(Sun Microsystems)公司创始人之一维诺德·科斯拉(Vinod Khosla)花3750万美元，买下了马丁斯海滩一块占地53英亩的优质地。该地块位于旧金山半岛半月湾以南约四英里处，包含海滩和一条路。加州土地委员会(State Lands Commission)称，一个世纪以来，那里一直是海滩爱好者的天堂。
At first, Mr. Khosla let people use the beach, but in 2010 locked the gate on Martins Beach Road and posted guards.
Now, for the first time, lawyers for Mr. Khosla have proposed in negotiations with the state to restore public access for almost the amount that Mr. Khosla paid for the land.
But the commission’s executive officer, Jennifer Lucchesi, said in a telephone interview, “We do not agree with that value, and we believe the value is significantly less than that.” Ms. Lucchesi added, “We have not seen any backup documentation to support the $30 million value.”
The commission planned to offer its own assessment, she said.
The two sides are actually trying to agree on the value of a right of public use of Martins Beach Road, which leads from the highway to the beach, and access along the shoreline itself, Ms. Lucchesi said.
The talks were initiated under legislation that took effect in January 2015, she said. If the two sides cannot agree, the commission could resort to eminent domain, which allows the state to expropriate private property for public use.
Mr. Khosla’s lawyer, Dori L. Yob, could not be reached for comment by telephone or email. But in her letter to the commission, dated Feb. 3, she said that Mr. Khosla’s limited liability companies, the legal entity that owns the property, closed the beach because demand was low, asserting that more than 10 cars showed up to use it only about 15 days a year.
记者无法通过电话或电子邮件联系到科斯拉的律师多里·L·约布(Dori L. Yob)。但她在2月3日写给该委员会的一封信中表示，科斯拉名下的有限责任公司（即持有这处房产的法人），之所以关闭海滩是因为公众对其需求很低，称一年中去海滩的汽车超过10辆的时间只有大约15天。
Ms. Yob said that while the current real estate market value of the land was $30 million, the Martins Beach owners previously offered less expensive solutions to meet the “limited demand” for access as a way to avoid lengthy litigation and further expenses.
“The cost to acquire the property is significant and should be weighed against the benefits,” she wrote. “There is no vital link to navigable waters at issue. There is not a significant demand for access to the property.”