'It breaks my heart' Martins Beach still private despite court ruling

HALF MOON BAY, Calif. (KGO) -- In a free country that used to be filled with wide open public spaces, there can be nothing more symbolic or infuriating than a locked gate.

RELATED: California inching closer to using eminent domain to acquire Martins Beach

"It breaks my heart. Ticks me off," said Joanne Butterfield, who had hoped to spend time with her sister, Elaine, at Martins beach where by order of the First District Court of Appeals, billionaire landowner Vinod Khosla should have opened the gate to a private road, providing access Thursday. It never happened -- yet another challenge to the California Coastal act.

"What is wrong is that the entire California coast is supposed to provide public access," said Mc Allen, who brought his two daughters from San Francisco, and then walked the half mile to a locale that becomes more of a contrast between natural delight and slow disintegration with every passing year.

Rust never sleeps, especially at the beach. Clearly, one does not visit Martins Beach to enjoy the accommodations. In places, Martins Beach looks like a ghost town in the making.

Its remaining tenants appear to be as protective of their privacy as the reclusive man spent $32.5 million for this land in 2008.

"I don't want to talk, no," said one resident. A second rolled up the window of her car and drove off without waiting to hear what we might ask.

"Frankly, I could not be happier about sticking it to the guy," one beachgoer told us. "But no pictures of my face, please. I'm playing hookie from work."

Instead, he allowed a photograph of his foot in the highly litigated sand.

Vinod Khosla may be able to get a stay of the court order if he appeals to the California Supreme Court. Back up the road at that still-locked gate, that did not play well with Joanne Butterfield. "Just because you have lots of money and don't want people to use the beach, that does not cut, it," she said.

Strong words, but the gate remained locked.

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