Prosecutors promptly dropped charges against the so-called "Martins Beach Five" for criminal trespassing, but the incident sparked civil litigation and legislative action. Bremmer, who said that he had surfed at Martins Beach in order to test the law, filed suit against Khosla, alleging that Khosla was violating state law by blocking access.
The Surfrider Foundation filed a second suit accusing Khosla's Martins Beach LLC of failing to seek permits necessary to change the access through the property that had been allowed by the previous owners. Khosla is fighting both suits.
"If it came to a discussion about it, then I would win," said Bremmer. "But it turns out that I'm not the one with billions of dollars."
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Khosla scored a legal victory late last year, when a judge ruled that Khosla was not violating the law by blocking Bremmer and the other surfers from his property because of special land rights on the specific tract of land that dated back to its pre-statehood Mexican owner. That ruling is currently under appeal.
Khosla, who declined to be interviewed on camera by NBC News, has said through his attorneys, on his Martins Beach LLC website and in the San Francisco Chronicle that he is simply protecting his freedom in the form of his private property rights and is the victim of "bureaucratic overreach."
"This dispute is about making sure private property rights are not abrogated by a runaway administrative body," said Khosla.
Khosla accused state and local officials of being unreasonable. "They have been taking an extreme view and don't want to compromise on anything," Khosla told the Chronicle. "One day out of the blue we got a letter from the county saying we had to have 1973 [parking] prices and be open 24/7."
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In June, California Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill giving the Coastal Commission power to levy fines of up to $11,500 a day against any property owner who illegally blocks public beaches. Where many of these cases used to end up in court, the new law means those cases will be adjudicated by the Coastal Commission, which may mean they will be decided more quickly.
For now, Martins Beach is open to the public. But on a recent summer day at the beach, surfer Mike Wallace told NBC News he knew his years of enjoying the local waves may end if Khosla prevails in court. "It's really ironic that somebody with those kind of green venture capital credentials is trying to close a beautiful spot like this," said Wallace.