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Neighbors vow to fight against the opening of gated California beach public

This Aug. 31, 2016, picture shows the port to Opal Cliffs Park that leads to Opal Cliffs Near Beach, better known as the Soldiers surf break, in the Live Oak area of a part without the legal personality of Santa Cruz County, California.

((Dan Coyro/Santa Cruz Sentinel via AP (associated press))

A neighborhood group rejected a plan by California regulators seek to open access to a secluded beach south of San Jose, which is popular with surfers, saying that it is willing to take the fight to the court.

The dispute over a fence in Opal Cliffs Park near Santa Cruz, which leads to a sandy bay is one of the many conducted in California about the right of the public to access the coast, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Friday.

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Officials of the province should the Opal Cliffs Recreation District for the management of the beach 69 years ago, and they put up a fence and started charging an admission fee by 1963. Elected volunteers who are the group since the installation of a 9-meter iron fences, hired security guards and costs $100 per year to the beach in the vicinity of a winding road dotted with millions of dollars of homes.

California Coastal Commission’s proposed changes, in line with the new legislation of a member state who asks consider not only environmental effects, but also the impact of its decisions on underrepresented communities.

Elected volunteers who are the group since the installation of a 9-meter iron fences, hired security guards and costs $100 per year to the beach in the vicinity of a winding road dotted with millions of dollars of homes.

(Santa Cruz Sentinel / Associated Press)

The area of the group on Wednesday withdrew a request to the commission for approval of the port, and the fee, saying that it did not agree with the commission staff recommendations for free year-round access from one hour before sunrise to one hour after sunset, and the replacement of the gate with a fence not greater than 6 metres.

Mark Massara, an attorney for the district of the group, said that it was clear that the application process was an attempt to eliminate all of the park’s existing licences.

“What the coastal staff is proposing is completely unreasonable, irrational,” Massara told the Los Angeles Times. “We are confident that we will be acting legally and looking forward to future discussions with the commission.”

Regulators can try to force Opal Cliffs to take of the gate and eliminate the fees that it says limit the audience of the famous coast. Residents say that the fee pays for beach-cleaning and maintenance of a wooden staircase.

“This is the only public beach in California, we know that requires such a fee, which especially benefits those who live in the immediate vicinity, and the disproportionate effects that are least able to afford it,” Noaki Schwartz, a Coastal Commission spokesperson, told the newspaper. “We plan to explore all possible options for the future, including seeking the enforcement of remedies.”

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The brewing legal battle comes as a high-powered interests in the state are fighting to keep the beaches to themselves.

Silicon Valley billionaire Vinod Khosla wants to restrict people from using a road through his property in order to Martins Beach, near Half Moon Bay. Massara, a surfer, is a part of the legal battle against Khosla.

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