- Associated Press - Sunday, January 4, 2015

HALF MOON BAY, Calif. (AP) - The new year has brought a new battle involving a San Francisco Bay Area billionaire and a beach loved by surfers.

In the latest skirmish, the state Land Commission is preparing to send a letter to venture capitalist Vinod Khosla inviting negotiations to buy public access to Martins Beach at Half Moon Bay, Jennifer Lucchesi, executive director of the agency, told the San Jose Mercury News (http://bit.ly/1wOz9n5) in a story Saturday.

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

Khosla bought beachfront property in 2008 and closed an access road to the popular beach. Last year, a San Mateo County Superior Court judge ordered Khosla to reopen the road after finding it had historically been open to beach-goers.

Surfers say the beach is accessible again on occasion. The Mercury News said Khosla’s lawyers did not respond to a request for comment. On Sunday, a call by The Associated Press to the office of Khosla attorney Jeffrey Essner was not immediately returned.

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

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