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California looking to make a deal with billionaire over closed access road to beach


HALF MOON BAY, California — The new year brings new battles involving a San Francisco Bay-area billionaire and a beloved surf beach.

State authorities tell the San Jose Mercury News they will ask venture capitalist Vinod Khosla to open financial talks over public access to Martins Beach at Half Moon Bay. ( )

Khosla bought beachfront property there in 2008, and closed an access road to a beach beloved by generations. A local judge last month ordered Khosla to reopen the beach access road. Local surfers say the beach is now accessible again on occasion.

A state law passed last year directs officials to consider taking the right-of-way by eminent domain if negotiations fail.

Two lawsuits also are underway over the beach access. And the California Coastal Commission is threatening Khosla with $11,250 in daily fines.

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