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Bill authorizes negotiations to reopen beach road closed by billionaire

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SACRAMENTO, California — California Gov. Jerry Brown has signed legislation meant to compel public access to a beach controlled by a billionaire businessman.

The Senate bill was authored by San Mateo Democrat Sen. Jerry Hill. It authorizes the state to negotiate with Vinod Khosla to reopen an access road to secluded St. Martin's Beach off Half Moon Bay. The measure also authorizes the state to use eminent domain to acquire the right of way if negotiations fail.

Khosla bought the oceanfront property in 2008. His employees closed a beach road that had been used by beach-goers for more than a century.

Last week, a San Mateo County judge ruled that Khosla would have to get permission from the state Coastal Commission first if he wanted to close the beach access road.

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