Thursday, October 5, 2017

"Beach, please... Billionaire VC finally opens way to waves"

From The Register:
Vinod Khosla responds to the only thing he knows: money

Billionaire venture capitalist Vinod Khosla has finally backed down in his efforts to stop Californians from accessing a beach via a road on lands he owns.

The Sun cofounder has been in a protracted legal battle over the beach since 2009, and despite losing time and time again, he has stubbornly refused to open a gate blocking an access road to the shore. In the end, California got him where it hurts: his wallet.

Under a law passed in 2014 – introduced solely because of Khosla's behavior – the California Coastal Commission can fine someone up to $11,250 a day if they block public access to a beach. That amounts to a hefty $4.1m a year.

And last week, having spent years wrangling with Khosla, the commission informed him that it was considering imposing those fees. The watchdog outlined a number of violations and threatened penalties of up to $20m with the threat of a lien being placed on the property if he didn't pay.

The price of keeping St Martins Beach to himself suddenly increased from $1m a year in legal fees to close to the $32.5m he paid for the 90-acre lot back in 2008. Khosla was also likely to lose an upcoming court case, which he would then have to appeal to the US Supreme Court, which doesn't come cheap.

The massive fines are still not a bankruptcy-inducing event from someone worth $1.75bn but were certainly enough to get the 62-year-old's attention.

The end?
Or maybe not...MORE