Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Martin's Beach - CLOSED

Located just off of California's scenic Highway One near Half Moon Bay, Martin's Beach is a small enclave of unique coastal access for local surfers, picnickers and other beachgoers. On a stretch of uninhabited coastline where there are limited ocean access options, Martin's Beach is a historic gateway to sand, surf and ocean for those in the know. 

Since 2008, a new owner has blocked access to Martin's Beach by locking the gate on the road that leads to the oceanfront beach. Previously, the public was granted access for a small entrance fee.

According to the California Coastal Act and historic precedent, in cases where the public has had continuous access to the coast through private property, the state can enforce the preservation of that access.  (A San Jose Mercury News article here details this issue and features the owner's lawyer's comments.) 

Art on the billboard at Martin's Beach protested its closure. Video below.
The Coastal Act of California, Section 30604 (c), provides that "Every coastal development permit issued for any development between the nearest public road and the sea or shoreline of any body of water located within the coastal zone shall include a specific finding that the development is in conformity with the public access and public recreation policies of Chapter 3."

Local residents are organizing weekly protests at the gate to Martin's Beach. You can learn more and support this cause at the Open Martin's Beach Facebook page. 

In late 2010, graffiti artists protested Martin's Beach closure with billboard art at the entrance to Martin's Beach on Highway One, an act of defiance which was immediately painted over by the property owners: 

Support this campaign here: Open Martin's Beach.

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