California Ritz faces $1.6M fine for blocking beach access
SAN DIEGO (AP) — A posh Northern California hotel is facing a $1.6 million penalty for failing to provide public access to its nearby beaches.
The Mercury News of San Jose reports that the California Coastal Commission was considering the fine Thursday against the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Half Moon Bay, about 30 miles (48 kilometers) south of San Francisco.
All California beaches are public with rare exceptions, but the hotel did not display signs informing the public about the beach access. It also prevented the public from easily accessing nearby public parking spaces.
The penalty would be the second-largest in the commission’s history. The commission would use $1 million to fund amenities to help the public use state beaches with the rest for purchasing land north of the hotel to expand public beach access.