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Popular Malibu Beach Will No Longer Ban Surfing Or Charge Admission

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The pier at Paradise Cove, Malibu (Photo by Cat via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr)
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Facing a daily fine of over $11,000, the owners of Paradise Cove will no longer charge walk-in admission fees or ban surfing from the popular Malibu beach.Using the power of a new law Governor Jerry Brown signed earlier this year, the Coastal Commission threatened heavy fines on the company that ran the Paradise Cove property. According to the California Constitution, the public owns the shoreline up to the mean high tide line. Prior to the bill signed by Governor Brown, the only way to fight private property owners over beach access was suing through a backlogged court system. Using their new powers, the Coastal Commission threatened the Kissel Company with a daily fine of $11,250, according to the L.A. Times.

"This is a triumph for public access and proof that the threat of fines is a very effective enforcement tool. We've never seen a violation of this magnitude resolved so quickly," Coastal Commission Chairman Steve Kinsey told the Times. The state agency sent letters to the property management company dating back to late October, and the newspaper reported on Thursday that the matter had been resolved.

Under the agreement, Paradise Cove will no longer charge a $20 walk-in fee and signs that read "No Surfboards" will be taken down. The gate to the pier will also be unlocked to the public, but the company will still be allowed to charge $40 for parking. Prior to the agreement, only residents of the adjacent mobile home park and their guests were allowed to surf at the beach. Visiting surfers to Paradise Cove were previously harassed and threatened with fines and charges.

For the Coastal Commission, the deal is a victory for public beach access. "Christmas came early for the coast this year," Kinsey added.