It was surfers versus a Silicon Valley tech billionaire, and on Wednesday, the surfers won -- for now.
The previous owners granted beachgoers their only way to the beach by land, via a dirt road, and charged a small fee for parking. But in 2010, two years after Khosla acquired the property, his manager locked the gate, painted over a sign that had beckoned from California Highway 1 and posted security guards to ward off trespassers.
Khosla did so despite being told by county planning officials, the Coastal Commission and a different San Mateo County Superior Court in 2009 that he needed to seek a coastal development permit if any of his actions were to change the "intensity of use" of the water or access to it.
Regardless, Angela Howe, legal director for the Surfrider Foundation, said the judge's order means Kholsa must immediately "cease preventing public access to the coast."
But the case may not be over.