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Malibu's Paradise Cove Busted For Charging For Public Beach Access...Again
If you were planning on enjoying a beach day at Malibu's gorgeous Paradise Cove this weekend, you don't need to worry about bringing cash...at least, not anymore. The L.A. Times reports that the owner of Paradise Cove had been charging beachgoers a $20 "daily beach club membership" fee to access the popular stretch of surf and sand in Malibu, in violation of public access laws.
Kissel Company, which operates as Paradise Cove Land Company, the privately-owned beachside restaurant and facility, received a letter on June 16 from the Coastal Commission, threatening to impose fines of up to $11,250 per day if they kept charging for beach access. According to the Times, Kissel Co. has since complied with the requests.
This is not the first time Kissel Co. has been busted by the Coastal Commission for blocking public beach access by imposing such trickily-marketed "beach club membership fees." In 2014, the company was forced to remove "No Surfboards" signs and unlock the gate to the pier, and halted the same $20 walk-in fee after being threatened with more $11,000 per day fines.
The fines for private companies, and individual residents of Malibu for that matter, are the result of a law passed in 2014 by Gov. Jerry Brown that sought to punish beachfront homeowners who put up phony signs discouraging plebians from accessing public beaches.
Sure, Paradise Cove is a lovely beach now, but #NeverForget: back in 2010, it was literally full of shit.