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Tech billionaire Vinod Khosla wishes he never bought Martin’s Beach



martins beach vinod khosla 3
Locals walk the path
through Vinod Khosla’s property to Martin’s Beach, a small swath
of the California coastline that Khosla is fighting to keep
off-limits to the public.


  • Tech billionaire Vinod Khosla is fighting to make a
    beach near his $37 million estate off-limits to the
  • In an interview with The New York Times, Khosla said he
    wished he had “never bought the property,” but he will continue
    to fight for his privacy based on “principle.”
  • Khosla also said he realizes how the controversy has
    forever changed his legacy: “A billionaire is a bad word
    in this country now,” Khosla told the Times. “And that pains

Tech billionaire and venture capitalist Vinod Khosla has spent a
decade fighting to keep a beach near his $37 million estate
off-limits to the public. It’s an exhausting thing — the
63-year-old tech legend has become known as California’s “beach
villain” — but he’s not giving up the battle.

In an interview
with The New York Times
, Khosla gave his side of a
story that has the famed tech figure pitted against
California surfers and policymakers since 2008, when he
bought the 53-acre hillside known as Martin’s Beach and closed it
to the public.

“I mean, look, to be honest, I do wish I’d never bought the
property,” Khosla told The Times. “In the end, I’m going to end
up selling it.”

He added, “If this hadn’t ever started, I’d be so happy. But once
you’re there in principle, you can’t give up principle.”

vinod khosla
The battle between tech
titan Vinod Khosla and California activists is heating

Mario Anzuoni /

In 2008, Khosla — who made his fortune as an investor at his own
venture fund and as a cofounder of Sun Microsystems — paid a
reported $37 million for a shorefront parcel near Half Moon Bay,
about an hour south of San Francisco. For many decades, surfers
and families had enjoyed the beach, which is known for its
stunning geological formations, picnic areas, and ideal surfing

When Khosla put a padlock on the gate providing access to
Martin’s Beach, locals revolted.
A California appeals court later ruled that
Khosla violated
state law
 when he blocked the public from
reaching the beach without a permit, and forced him to reopen the

Khosla aims to take his case to the nation’s highest court.

martins beach vinod khosla 8
Before Vinod Khosla bought
the property, surfers and families enjoyed Martin’s Beach for
decades. They paid a small parking fee to the previous


In February,
Khosla filed an appeal with the US Supreme Court
overturn the ruling, on the grounds that he does not need a
permit to maintain a gate on his own property. If the Supreme
Court decides to hear his case, the results could have major
consequences for programs that manage beach property rights
across the nation.

If I were to ever win in the Supreme Court, I’d be
depressed about it,” Khosla told the Times. “I support the
Coastal Act; I don’t want to weaken it by winning. But property
rights are even more important.”

His tech pedigree and iconoclastic pronouncements
about investing
 made Khosla Ventures one of the
most closely-watched venture firms in Silicon Valley. But Khosla
tells the Times he knows the controversy around his property is
very much part of his legacy now.

“A billionaire is a bad word in this country now,” Khosla
said. “And that pains me.”

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