Property Rights

Malibu Man Fined $4.2 Million Over Disputed Beachfront Gate

Warren Lent is suing the California Coastal Commission, arguing that its power to unilaterally hand down massive fines with minimal process is unconstitutional.


When Warren and Henny Lent bought their Malibu beach house in 2002, it was the realization of a lifelong goal. Warren, a doctor by training, says he worked a second job on top of the time he put in at a Beverly Hills plastic surgery practice just to afford the down payment.

It was "a dream come true which lasted about two months," Lent says.

That was when the Lents learned, via a casual conversation with a neighbor, that their house had a five-foot-wide public access easement along its eastern side that people could use to get down to the water. These easements aren't uncommon, and at first, the Lents didn't think much about the fact that their home had one too.

After all, it wasn't like their side yard made for a great means of accessing the beach given that it contained two steep drops, and that running underneath the whole thing was a large storm drain which could make building anything on top of it an engineering challenge.

Nevertheless, this easement put the Lents on a collision course with one of the most powerful agencies in the state, and one with a history of antagonizing property owners: the California Coastal Commission (CCC).

Beginning in 2007, the commission began demanding that the couple remove a gate and stairs obscuring their side yard so it could build its own improvements there. The Lents said they would comply once the commission was actually ready to break ground.

Negotiations continued until 2016, when the commission—tired of arguing and newly empowered to issue fines—slapped the couple with a $4.2 million penalty. This remains one of the largest fines the commission has ever handed out.

"If I lose that property and lose that equity, that's my retirement," Warren Lent tells Reason, saying that penalty would require him to forfeit his house to the state. "We don't want to lose what we've legitimately earned."

The couple has since sued the commission. They argue that the millions in penalties they've been hit with is totally disproportionate to any injury they've caused and thus violates the U.S. and California constitutions' prohibition on excessive fines. Their lawsuit also says that the administrative hearing at which the commission handed down this excessive fine—where the Lents had no ability to cross-examine witnesses or challenge the speculation or hearsay of public commentators—violated their right to due process.

The case is now before the California Supreme Court. Its decision will have huge ramifications for landowners all along the coast who currently run the risk of being hit with massive daily fines handed down with minimal process should they object to the commission's plans for their property.

'The Single Most Powerful Land Use Authority in the United States'

In 1972—around the same time an anti-growth revolution was sweeping California—voters approved the creation of the 12-member CCC. According to the voter information guide for that year, the explicit goal was to stop a supposed "corporate land grab" of the state's shoreline.

To that end, the commission was given the power to approve, deny, or condition everything from new hotels to home expansions within a zone that generally extends 1,000 yards inland from the high-tide line.

That power to permit development along 860 miles of some of the most valuable real estate in the world made the commission "the single most powerful land use authority in the United States," in the words of Jonathan Zasloff, a law professor at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Those sweeping powers have also given rise to endless legal controversies.

In 1982, a Ventura couple sued the commission after it refused to approve a permit for a second story on their house unless they also agreed to the creation of an easement on their property. The case, Nollan v. California Coastal Commission, eventually wound its way up to the U.S. Supreme Court where the majority ruled against the agency in a landmark, if legally wonky, opinion that requires there to be a "nexus" between the purposes of the commission's development regulations and the conditions it places on permit applicants.

Despite that ruling, the commission continues to unconstitutionally antagonize coastal landowners, said Mark Miller, a former Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF) attorney who now works as a legal advisor for South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, last year. (PLF litigated the Nollan case, and is currently representing the Lents.)

"People want their permits. So even if the demand being put on them [from the coastal commission] would violate Nollan, often the permit applicant doesn't know that, or if they know it, they will give it up, they'll give in to the extortion," he says, asserting that the commission continues to attach conditions to permits that have little to do with protecting the public's access to the coast.

"The war on property owners along the coast is not ending," he says.

The past few years have only seen the agency's powers grow.

In 2014, the California State Legislature gave the commission the power to unilaterally issue daily fines of up to $11,250 to anyone blocking public access to the coast. Previously, the commission had to go to court to hand out penalties.

Proponents of this law said it would give the agency the leverage needed to quickly get property owners to remove gates, fencing, "no parking" and "no trespassing" signs and other things blocking public access to the coast.

"We're not interested in punishing people, we're interested in protecting access," Lisa Haage, the commission's chief enforcement officer, told the Los Angeles Times at the time.

A 2019 commission report found that the law both increased the speed at which existing public access cases were resolved, and the rate at which new cases were opened. Commission staff nevertheless maintained that actually issuing fines was a last resort.

When property owners don't buckle immediately, however, the commission can suddenly become very interested in handing out punishments—something the Lents were soon to discover.

Lents and Penance

When the Lents purchased their property in 2002, the stairs and gate that would land them in hot water with the commission were already there. Removing them presented a couple of problems.

The stairs, which extended partially into the easement, provided the only means of accessing the beach from the house—a nice feature for what was, after all, a beach house. It was also a second means of egress, something required by the city of Malibu. Removing the gate presented a liability issue given that it was the only thing preventing people from falling down a six-foot drop immediately behind it.

Over the next couple years, the Lents say they tried to find a compromise, including potentially shifting the public access easement from the eastern to the western side of the house.

"We weren't saying we weren't going to remove these structures. We were just saying we were going to use our property until such time that they were going to use their easement," Warren Lent tells Reason.

Years-long gaps in communication from the commission during this period—not to mention the previous couple of decades of inactivity—suggested to the Lents that this was not an urgent priority.

In 2014, however, the commission started to threaten fines. Negotiations about a consent agreement to remove the gate and stairs collapsed in early 2016 when the commission demanded the Lents pay a $600,000 penalty (which they later upped to $900,000) to settle the matter. Warren says the couple did not have the money. Their counteroffer to pay a $100,000 fine and remove all structures in the easement by June 2016 was rejected.

Matters came to a head at a December 2016 hearing.

There, commission staff argued the Lents' efforts at compromise were bad-faith delaying tactics, ones the commission had no obligation to entertain. The gate and stairs were illegal, and the Lents didn't get to dictate the conditions under which they came down. The fact that the Lents had rented out the house on Vrbo, a vacation rental platform, for close to $1,000 a night was just more evidence that the couple was profiting off their illegal obstruction of public beach access.

Commission staff said that a fine of $8.4 million—the total daily $11,250 fines that the Lents had accumulated since they were first warned about the potential for monetary penalties in late 2014—would be an entirely appropriate, "conservative" sanction. Nevertheless, they recommended an even more lenient fine range of between $800,000 and $1.5 million.

In response, both Warren Lent and his lawyer at the time, Alan Block, stressed the couple didn't install the contested structures, and that they'd always sought to cooperate with the commission once they were made aware of the supposed violations.

Block explained that the Lents had made their property available to the commission and its partner agencies for site visits, going so far as to give them a key to the gate on their property. Warren Lent also tells Reason he only started renting out his property in 2007 with the primary aim of covering the legal bills he was accumulating dealing with the commission.

Despite the fact that the Lents were facing millions in fines, the hearing they'd been called before operated much more like a town hall than a trial. That meant that members of the public were able to get up and provide comments, and neither Warren Lent nor his lawyer were able to cross-examine them.

That included Joe Edmiston, executive director of the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority (MRCA), who said at the hearing that his agency was "prepared immediately to open this access way up, using this facility, right now. Give us the key, say the public can own it, and we'll have the rangers there in the morning opening it, and at night closing it."

At the time, the MRCA already had a key to the gate. When the Lents agreed to remove it in 2018, the MRCA told them to wait until they could put up their own gate. That didn't happen until 2019. Despite the agency's claim that they were ready to immediately open up the Lents' easement, it remains closed to this day.

Another woman from the California Coastal Protection Network claimed, using her own back-of-the-envelope calculations, that the Lents had pocketed as much as $4 million from renting out their home to beachgoers.

In the end, commissioners decided to split the difference between their own staff's recommendation and the maximum allowable fine. They gave the Lents a penalty of $4.185 million. They also issued a cease-and-desist order requiring them to remove the gate and stairs on their house.

"I'm a doctor. I'm not a rich industrialist," says Warren Lent. All he and his wife did, he maintains, is buy a house. Paying the penalty would effectively require him to turn it over to the state.

Unwilling to have his property taken from him, he decided to sue.

In 2018, a trial court in Los Angeles County ruled partially in the Lents' favor. While it didn't overturn the cease-and-desist order, it did stay the fine, ruling that the Lents weren't given sufficient notice of the amount of the penalty they would be subject to, and that they should be given the opportunity to present more evidence in their favor.

Both the CCC and the Lents appealed that ruling. The Lents, now with the help of PLF, were arguing that the fine itself was unconstitutionally severe and that the hearing at which it was decided violated the couple's due process rights. Their lawsuit also asks that the law empowering the commission to unilaterally hand down these fines after a simple administrative hearing be overturned.

"It's hard to look at this kind of statute as anything other than quasi-criminal. The intent of it is to punish," says Jeremy Talcott, a PLF lawyer. "Yet without any of those traditional protections we'd find in a true criminal proceeding, the court was able to financially devastate individuals. That should be horrifying to absolutely anyone."

In April 2021, an appeals court sided with the CCC and upheld the $4.2 million fine imposed on the Lents. The couple is now appealing to the California Supreme Court.

Fine Details

The $4.2 million fine handed down to the Lents was the commission's first use of its newfound powers to unilaterally penalize violators in public access violators, but it was hardly its last, or even its most severe.

That includes a $15.6 million fine the commission gave to a developer for building a hotel whose rooms were too expensive, and a $1 million fine to a Laguna Beach couple who didn't remove a preexisting seawall when remodeling their beach house.

Given the severe affordability challenges faced by average renters and homeowners in California—where 29 percent of renters spend over half of their income on rent and the typical home price is $668,300—some might find it hard to feel too much sympathy for the Lents and other rich property owners victimized by the CCC.

Indeed, the commission justifies its heavy-handed fines in class-based terms. It is preserving access to the beach for working-class Californians from rich coastal landowners who'd otherwise privatize the whole shore.

However, a 2010 study by Zasloff, as well as UCLA economists Matthew Kahn and Ryan Vaughn, found that home prices and incomes have grown much faster in areas where development is regulated by the commission, and that the commission's restrictions on development were driving gentrification along California's coastline.

Absent the commission's anti-development regulations, it's reasonable to assume that a lot more people than well-off doctors would be able to live closer to the water. The Lents might be the primary scapegoats for a more general problem than the CCC and its excessive red tape are contributing to, but they're not the only ones paying the cost.

So long as the commission retains the power to levy massive fines on homeowners for asserting their rights, private property along the California coastline will continue to be more fiction than reality. Why challenge an order from the agency if every day you don't comply with its wishes brings the risk of five-digit fines?

The Lents' lawsuit represents an opportunity to put some outer bounds on the commission's power. More broadly, the anti-growth assumptions underlying its regulation of coastal development will have to change.

Pro-development, pro-density "yes in my backyard" (YIMBY) activists who have made slow, steady progress in convincing Californians that allowing more development doesn't ruin cities but rather gives more people the ability to enjoy them. That same attitude should extend all the way to the shoreline.

The public access that the commission is tasked with ensuring would be far better served by giving landowners more freedom to build what they wish on their property than trying to fine them into the poor house for blocking an unusable path down to the beach.

NEXT: Kinder, Gentler Family Separation?

Property Rights California California Supreme Court YIMBY Zoning Due Process

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81 responses to “Malibu Man Fined $4.2 Million Over Disputed Beachfront Gate

  1. lolcalifornia

    Just leave. Literally move out. Go anywhere else. At some point staying in California becomes your own damn fault.

    1. On the flip side…
      Rich couple buy beach house with easement for public access to beach. Then refuses to let public access the beach. (locked gate?)
      Now they complain the city is getting serious.

      Some contractor put in stairs and gate many years ago. If he was bonded and licensed, he would have installed with a building permit. If he screwed up, he needs to fix it. If he is no longer in business, that is why he has a bond…

      Saying you bought a property and you didn’t know their was an easement is a stupid excuse. Part of closing is figuring out what you are actually buying, including where property lines are and what issues the land has. Even if it wasn’t a “stakes in the ground” survey, the survey company should have mentioned the stairs or whatever encroach an easement.

      1. Youre lying too..all you Trolls are posting the same comment.

        .The problem didnt exust when they bot the property. The CCC invented it.

        Thats called ” capricious”

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      2. Stair encroaching on an easement is irrelevant.

        An easement is just – literally just – someone else has a right to part of a property. “the right to use the real property of another for a specific purpose.”

        For example, I have an easement on the edge of my property to allow access to my canal by my water district and my neighbors – we all have one since we all need access to each other’s water gates.

        That doesn’t mean it has to be totally clear and free. It just means that ‘reasonable’ ability to walk along the canal needs to be there. Some of us store stuff in that easement area.

        A lot of you guys like to chime in with no understanding of what the actual legal issues are. Or even what the definitions of the words being used are.

        And then you ignored the conflict between the city – which mandates the gate and stairs as a second egress point – and the coastal commission.

        Sure, its easy for *you* to say ‘well they should just tell the city to take care of it’. But neither the city nor the coastal commission give a fuck and there’s nothing they can do because the CC doesn’t care that the city requires this and the city doesn’t care what the CC wants.

        And the whole ‘well if the contractor went out of business – that’s what they have a bond for’ . . . JFC. You don’t even know what a bond is or how it works. Contractors are not putting a big lump sum in the bank, sitting there, waiting for some claim to be made against them decades later. You subscribe to a bonding service and pay a monthly fee – like insurance. If you get a claim, the bonding service pays, if not, you just keep paying the premium. Once you stop paying the premium – you no longer have a bond.

        And even if you put the bond sum in a big lump in escrow – it doesn’t stay there forever. You can close down shop and then you take it back.

        *Finally*, the idea that you’ll have any information on which contractor built something in the house under a previous owner . . . I don’t even know where in the world you would get that idea. No, not even from city records. Something done even as recently as 20 years ago is going to be put into a records warehouse and forgotten about. That’s assuming there’s even a record of the contractors on the permits.

        1. This is a nice description.

          I do have questions, like why didn’t they know about the easement BEFORE buying. And building a gate across an easement when asked not to sort of turned me against them because blocking a beach access is something you just don’t do here.

          Then 4 million dollar fine by some random commission and I’m like “yeah, I don’t care about the petty questions anymore.” And it’s not an actual access, and he said he was willing to open the gate when improvements went in, etc. There’s more to this I don’t know, I’m sure. But 4.2 million is bonkers.

          1. FYI
            From your comment: “And building a gate across an easement when asked not to sort of turned me against them because blocking a beach access is something you just don’t do here.”
            From the article: “When the Lents purchased their property in 2002, the stairs and gate that would land them in hot water with the commission were already there. “

            1. Sure, he made a mistake and thought nothing of a 4 million fine somehow sane, but I think we found the next “reasonable” coastal commissioner.

            2. Yes, I read. And read the comment above. You miss the point, which was both evolution of under standing and how nicely agammamon pointed out the liability this guy was really facing.

              Understand, this has been in headlines before. I live in Southern California. They made it seem like a blocking beach access issue. Doesn’t matter who built the gate, if it’s a public access you should open it, right? More than one rich bastard has tried to block a REAL beach access to annex public property in the past so that’s a good way to get people riled up.

              But it isn’t a public access issue. It’s really a nearly Kafkaesque governmental conundrum issue. Liability for when someone falls, or liability for when the coastal commission wants to swing their dicks around and show you who’s really the boss. And 4 million dollars is a ridiculous liability for a private individual, even in Malibu.

        2. I’m an architect/planner and spent a few years working for a private company that specializes in helping landowners process permits through the CCC. You’re correct on some points but wrong on your main point. Stairs encroaching into an easement are absolutely NOT irrelevant. Permanent development such as stairs are not allowed to encroach into public access easements. These type of access easements have almost always been agreed to as a condition to approving a Coastal Development Permit (CDP). These permits are required to be issued by the CCC for any development in the Coastal Zone where a Local Coastal Plan has not been developed by the local permitting authority (i.e. the city or county) and certified by the CCC. So, a previous property owner must have agreed to grant the access easement and remove the development in order to complete some project on the property that required a CDP. Now, to make it even more complicated, the CCC will not issue a CDP until the local permitting authority has issued a preliminary approval of the proposed project. This preliminary approval means that the City of Malibu would have approved the removal of the stairs as part of the project. So, the owners must have come up with a solution to the egress issue that was approvable by the city. This process is followed in order to ensure there aren’t any conflicts between a CCC approval and a local approval.

          Now, all that being said, it’s VERY common for coastal land owners to agree to the conditions of a CDP in order to get it issued and then try to ignore the conditions they don’t like such as allowing public access. Often times, they’ll clear the easement, get the permit signed off, and then put up gates or other obstructions after the inspectors are gone for good. My best guess is that’s what happened here with previous property owners. This should have been disclosed to the new property owners, as you say.

          None of the above is to say that I agree with the CCC’s tactics. They are an activist agency that has created out of thin air some of the most absurd legal theories to try and prevent otherwise legal development. Check out the Single Economic Parcel theory for some fun reading.

      3. You didn’t read much of the article, did you? First, the keys to the gate were in the possession of both the CCC and MRCA so they could have opened it when they wished. Second, there’s that bit about a 6 foot drop the gate opens up to – if you want to split hairs the CCC’s document shows it to be 5’5″ which isn’t going to be easy to navigate as a “public way”. Third, after that drop it only gets folks to a deck which is a foot and a half over a four foot diameter drain pipe the bottom of which is about three and a half feet above the beach. Finally, even if people were game enough to bother navigating the drop, it’s nearly impossible to get out via the same route.

        In short, removing the gate doesn’t create a public way, it creates a public hazard without placing something there that normal ambulatory people could traverse. Which is something the CCC could have done at any time given they had a key to the gate.

      4. Dintchya READ the dang piece? ry going back. I read that the easement was known at the time of their purchase. Further, that the pathway was not usable, due in significant part to the way the buried culvert had been installed. That all was almost certainly in place long before that wretched gummit boondoggle rape organisatioin was formed, baci in nineteen ought seventy two. As with ALL gummit rape cadres such as this, theyr purpose and function, as outlined in the Voter’s pamphlet, was deliberately deceptive, and the commission once formed would comletely ignore the marching orders given them by the voters.

        I know.. I was one of the voters who voted agasint that, asI saw right through the lies and happy sounding words and “golden” purpose. that was in reality only flashed cheap brass. I lived on the coast a few hndred miles north of Malibu, and nearly all of us saw and foretold the nazified outfit that would soon enough erupt into the tranquilicy of the California Coast. Many of my friends owned or rented waterfront property, and we all feared what this “commission” would make of everything. We were, sadly, not wrong. I know any possibility of my ever affording watefront or direct access property was now a pipe dream. I soon enough moved out of that wretched state. We KNEW that commission would be using their aw THOR a tee” to pick winners and losers, favourites and the punished ones, using their massive hammers to destroy lives and property. We know thawt before the ballot pamphlet was ever printed.

      5. The takeaway is this: the government uniformly does what it wants, and if that means due process is violated, they don’t care.

        It’s appalling though that now they have the funding to propagandize us by creating accounts on reason in order to win the public opinion battle. This is the typical red flag of a country imploding due to citizen apathy and government over reach.

        Leave the US or become a victim like these rich dudes.

      6. starting in the 1950s connected people( political donors) began wanting beach front property so , with their donations, they bought the politicians who allowed them to build on the sand and limit access to the public beaches. The streisand sydrome took hold and the buyers all prevented the public access to the PUBLIC beaches.

    2. No, the assholes who voted to turn California into what it is should be forced to remain in California and deal with it.

      1. Attacking the Victim is childish

    3. Who will open accept a California conservative like myself?

      1. So long as you act like a refugee, and not a missionary (and you’re actually a conservative, not just one that’s conservative-for-California), come to Texas.

        We do require that newcomers decompress for a short time in the airlock between California and Texas—the People’s Republic of Austin—before being allowed to settle elsewhere here.

      2. State of Jefferson?

    4. I can’t imagine why anyone chooses to stay in California.

      1. Same as the Jews who stayed in Germany. People hate change.

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  4. “That was when the Lents learned, via a casual conversation with a neighbor, that their house had a five-foot-wide public access easement along its eastern side that people could use to get down to the water.”

    They should also sue their real estate agent and their title lawyer.

    1. Seconded.

      You bought a multi-million dollar Malibu beach house and didn’t understand the property? Either you are lying or completely incompetent.

      1. From what I see of the linked document , documents submitted in 1981 (before the Lents bought the property) failed to show correctly the encroachments on this easement.

      2. no youre lying and attacking the victims.

        It wasnt a point when they bought the property. The CCC invented a problem to seize the property.

        1. my opinion is not falsifiable. I’m not attacking the victims. The CCC is the bad guy here.

      3. jeeezzee he’s a plastic surgeon. what’d you expect.

    2. I have to agree, easements are one of the first things that need to be disclosed in a real estate deal (now, if they were disclosed but didn’t know what it is for, that’s their problem).

      The fact that the path is non-traversable makes this entire thing into a farce. The Lents are now in an untenable position. If they removed the gate, they would be liable for injuries that occurred on their property as people literally walked off cliffs to get to the beach. However, by having the gate, they incur these massive fines. If this wasn’t California, I would be questioning whether the facts were correct or being exaggerated.

      However, I’m most concerned about the clear and transparent falsehoods said by the state during the meeting. That should be perjury.

    3. That easement would have been known prior to closing. It may very well have been noted on the site survey. These things aren’t secret.

  5. Article needs some photographs and diagrams. Like, how is that stairway disposed w.r.t. the easement? Does the easement go under it, across it, or what?

    1. To California regulators, none of that matters.

    2. The bottom step probably protrudes 3 inches into the easement.

    3. I agree. Hard to visualize the property and unclear what the problem is. Like what does “protruding” mean? Protruding into the easement is not the same as blocking it and I don’t see the problem if there is no actual blocking. But the author never clarified this point. Got the sense the author was not being forthright about how the easement was blocked to make the owners appear as the victim.

  6. “In 1972—around the same time an anti-growth revolution was sweeping California.”

    Sure didn’t take the free love hippies long to decide to put up a wall after getting into California, did it?

  7. “We don’t want to lose what we’ve legitimately earned.”

    Then you shouldn’t have chosen to live in The People’s Democratic Republic of California.

    1. Wonder how many votes they have cast for Ds

      1. All of them.

    2. Attacking the victim is childish.

      Youre thesick type that blames women for being raped.

      Seek counselling

      1. Blaming people who live and vote in California for the problems that they voted for in California is nothing like blaming women for being raped. Unless you think women vote to be raped.

  8. There’s a lot to wade thru, but does include diagrams that make the problem fairly clear.

    1. Doe it help or hurt the case that every house has stairs going into the easement

      1. Does it help or hurt that no one is gonna cross the PCH to walk thru there. And if they did, they’d break their legs without a gate or stairs

  9. A 2019 commission report found that the law both increased the speed at which existing public access cases were resolved…


    1. Che Guevara increased the speed at which Cuban cases were resolved

    2. Isn’t that what happened to Archibald Buttle?

  10. I couldn’t ever live in Kafkafornia.

    1. Ooooh, “Kafkafornia” is good.

    2. California was an OK place, until Governor Reagan banned harmless LSD. Now it is what the televangelism, liquor and narcotic lobbies paid for. Government control is what a mixed economy is all about.

      1. It started long before Reagan . Back in the 40s and 50s the democrats made boss tweeds crooks look like saints. In the fiftys Mayor Yorty wanted to lease drilling rights to oil companies in the Catalina channel. The dems weren’t going to let a maverick like Yorty get away with that so the city and county councils made the middle of the channel a Residential zone. The MIDDLE OF THE CHANNEL! And the dems have gone down the hill further with each election cycle to the present commissars ruling the state now.

  11. Easements are one of the first things that need to be disclosed in any real estate transaction, case in point.
    Brandon Tree

  12. This is some asshole junior lawyer for the ccc trying to make a name.

    Fine = arbitrary. Theres been no damages.

    Have the property declared a sanctuary for sone endangered species and give them the finger…

    1. The only endangered species in Malibu is the public. Streisand Syndrome for example.

  13. The basic problem here is that the Lents believed the propaganda about “buying your own home.” In reality, it’s impossible to own a home in the United States. What they actually bought was the opportunity to rent a house from the government. Their landlord can do anything it wants with that house, including fining them for doing something the landlord doesn’t like.

  14. I mean, come on, in our capitalist society the landed rich shouldn’t have to deal with peasants and serfs obstructing their view. That’s the basic idea that these poor… plastic surgeon medical doctor… have to deal with.

    1. Pay your mortgage.

    2. Poor parasitic asshole; if he weren’t envious of those who are willing to make a living, he wouldn’t have any emotions at all.
      Fuck off and die.

    3. so very true. how dare the taxpayers get to enjoy MY beach!!!

  15. It’s kinda like this…

    1. Fuck off and die.

      1. I’ve run into this a lot. There are outliers around everything in human nature, but typically the most boring and tedious people I’ve met tend to be rich. Not everyone, of course, but most rich people tend to be dicks.

        1. “I’ve run into this a lot…”

          You should. Leftist asshole supporters of murderous regimes should be encouraged to remove themselves from the gene-pool by any means available,
          Fuck off and die, you pathetic excuse for humanity. Is that clear, parasite?

        2. Oh, and your claiming rich people are “dicks” is a result of you being a parasite upon them and your envy of those capable of becoming “rich”.
          Adolescent lefty whining; fuck off and die.

        3. If you run into people that tell you to fuck off and die a lot, you should take that advice.

  16. When is Reason going to write articles about states that don’t begin with “C”?

  17. I wonder if the neighbor was Charlie Harper.

  18. A friend of mine spent 8 years and millions of dollars fighting the CCC to open a beautiful school just north of San Diego. He finally won the case. The judge turned to the CCC people and basically told them they ought to be ashamed of themselves

    1. Censure, even public censure, means nothing to these people. Until they are personally held responsible and forced to pay fines or are imprisoned for willful constitutional violations, nothing is going to change.

      1. Yep. Same with the Colorado baker story. The Supreme Court in that case, or whatever court hopefully intervened in this case, needs to start finding people in contempt and tossing them in jail for a weekend, to start.

  19. “We don’t want to lose what we’ve legitimately earned.”

    I’m sorry to say, my friend, but at least 51% of the country isn’t with you on this.

  20. “…the explicit goal was to stop a supposed “corporate land grab” of the state’s shoreline…”

    Instead, we got the government land grab!

  21. Just one of many reasons why I, while applying for academic positions all over the country, skipped each and every California job posting I saw. Didn’t even bother opening any of them. I’d rather be working at a Starbucks in Alabama than be gainfully employed in that wretched cesspool.

  22. The fine may or may not be excessive — eleven years (2007-2018) is a long time for the home owners to diddle around with the easement — but the principle is correct. Public access to beach areas below the mean high tide line is a well-established principle in many places; it’s not some kind of California aberration. It’s clear that the Lents thought they could stall and delay and the Commision would lose interest. Sorry Charlie.

  23. The “California Coastal Commission” is a violent, communist enterprise. When enough people realize that, it will be eliminated. Shame on the people who vote for communism.

    1. Realization is cheap. Votes for freedom are what change violent laws.

  24. You might want to read the appellate decision to see what’s actually going on:

  25. California’s nowhere near as cool as they make it out to be on TV and in movies.

  26. If local homeowners were to plow $11000 a month into the county Libertarian Party, spoiler vote leverage could promptly disabuse looters of their moronic folly. The cost is but 1/30th the tribute now demanded of the uppity few who still entertain quaint notions about private ownership. What have those homeowners got to lose?

  27. > The fact that the Lents had rented out the house on Vrbo, a vacation rental platform, for close to $1,000 a night was just more evidence that the couple was profiting off their illegal obstruction of public beach access.

    They advertised it as having a PRIVATE beach. Bit of a lie of omission here.

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