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Ever Been to Martins Beach? Now You Can Help Save It
Scott Lucas | Photo: Jim Patterson | July 25, 2014
Just fill out a survey and wax nostalgic.
You know that beach south of Half Moon Bay in San Mateo County, the one that that mean, old venture capitalist is trying to make into his own stately pleasure dome? Yeah, the one with the gorgeous views of the awesome pyramid rock (see above)? Well, if you've ever surfed, swam, built sandcastles, roasted weenies, tortured sandcrabs, or done anything else frolicsome at Martins Beach in the past, it's time to stand up and be counted.
The California Coastal Commission has put out what it calls a "prescriptive rights survey" online that asks anyone who has ever been to Martins Beach to fill a legal declaration. You can find a link to the document here, which you'll have to print out, write in, and mail back to the Commission. According to the LA Times, the survey results will assist in negotiations with Vinod Khosla, or as we prefer to call him, Mr. Burns by the Sea.
The Commission's investigation is separate from the ongoing trial between Khosla and the nonprofit Surfrider foundation. Another case was decided in Khosla's favor this fall. In a recent interview, Khosla said,"If they wanted you to make your backyard a park, would that hurt you?The Coastal Commission and the county have been completely unreasonable. They have been taking an extreme view and don't want to compromise on anything."
In fact, thanks to the magic of English Common Law, your backyard can be turned into a park—all it takes is enough people waxing nostalgic about how they've been using it as a park since before your were born. Like, for example, if a prominent Congressperson were on record reminiscing about Gidget-style keggers on the beach back in the day. That would help.
The Commission wants to hear all your stories. The time you picked up that cute surfer boy at the bonfire and he drove you home in his VW bus. The time you gazed at the moon and wondered if President Kennedy could really send astronauts there. That time you and the local police chief had to fight off the giant, man-eating shark. Best yet—unlike your ungrateful grandchildren—the Commission even wants to see all your "photographs, logs, diaries, notebooks, letters, etc. relating to your use of Martins Beach." Hurry up and get at them.