Martins Beach access has never been free // Mercury News : Opinion

Originally Posted: 08.03.14 inĀ August 3 2014 OPINION Letter from Stephen Russell in Mercury News section

By Stephen Russell, Menlo Park

Jim Moriarty (Opinion, July 27) would have everyone believe that the Deeney family, 1 previous owners of the Martins Beach area, allowed free and unfettered access to the beach. We know that is not the truth.
The Deeneys never granted a public easement, and they controlled beach access – through their property – on a continuous basis since they opened for business.

The Deeneys offered access on their terms, for a fee, and closed the gate whenever they felt like it. For $5, and when it was convenient for them, the Deeney family would let you in – across their private land – so that you could access a much smaller beach (comĀ­pared to the huge beach at Tunis Creek just a few miles south) that was located in an otherwise small community of cottages and homes.

I cannot imagine the prospect of dealing with a horde of weekend visitors who clog the narrow streets of my otherwise private community, all for a mere $5 a head, and block my own access, play loud music and leave trash behind with no consideration for anyone else.
The coastal commission and the county would have Vinod Khosla continue the business, in which he has no personal interest, and reduce the access fee while sticking him with liability insurance and other overhead and maintenance fees that are an unf and, to my mind, inexcusable intrusion into privacy rights that affect all of us.

Stephen Russell
Menlo Park