David Geffen's fight to keep the state of California from requiring him to let people cut across his Malibu home lot to get to the beach appears lost. On Friday, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge David Yaffe threw out Geffen's suit challenging the easement demand California's Coastal Commission is making on him. (The billionaire music mogul can refile on a couple of administrative procedural points.) I wrote a piece for the Wall Street Journal on the background of this case, available here.
Although the Supreme Court's famous decision in Nollan v. California Coastal Commission ended the CCC's practice of demanding that landowners "agree" to easements across their property in order to get building permits, apparently the likes of Geffen—who were coerced into such agreements before the 1987 decision—are just going to have to suck it up. Southern Californians made much of the irony of hyperwealthy hyperliberals like Geffen fighting for property rights over public beach access. Geffen may well be a hypocrite, but that doesn't mean his property rights shouldn't be respected by the law.