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Commission documenting public use of blocked beach

HALF MOON BAY, Calif. (AP) -- California's Coastal Commission is asking the public to document its use of a San Francisco Bay Area beach that is at the center of a lawsuit over public access.

Billionaire landowner Vinod Khosla closed the only access road to Martin's Beach after the adjacent land in 2008. Under state law, the entire coast is public property, and critics say the closure violates the state's coastal act.

The coastal commission on Thursday announced it was asking people how and when they used the beach in the past.

The San Jose Mercury News reports (http://bit.ly/1lBnMe6 ) that the commission could use the information to strengthen its hand in a settlement with Khosla.

Khosla's attorney, Jeffrey Essner, says the public was previously allowed to access the beach for a fee, so there was never a right of public access.

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Information from: San Jose (Calif.) Mercury News, http://www.mercurynews.com

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