STATEMENT: Lt. Governor Newsom on Martins Beach court ruling and public coastal access

8-10-17

San Francisco - California Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom issued the following statement following an appellate court ruling upholding a requirement that Coastal Commission approval is required to close an easement offering public access to Martins Beach in San Mateo County.

"The iconic natural spaces of California are treasures to be enjoyed and experienced by all Californians, not just the privileged few. I am pleased that the court has once again reinforced the notion that public access to California's coast is protected by the state and applaud California's Surfrider Foundation in its relentless advocacy for public access to public beaches. California's beaches are held in a public trust, for use by everyone."

BACKGROUND

Public use of Martins Beach was barred in 2009, when the owner of the adjacent property closed the only access road to the beach. In Surfrider Foundation v. Martins Beach LLC, Case No. CIV 520336, the Surfrider Foundation sued to challenge the property owners' lack of compliance with the California Coastal Act before closing the road to the beach. In December 2014, the court found that Martins Beach LLC's actions to change the public's access to the beach without a coastal development permit was a violation of the Coastal Act.

In today's victory for the public, an appellate court upheld a trial court ruling that Coastal Commission approval is required for closures that restrict public access at Martins Beach and restored the public right of access to the beach.

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