SANTA CRUZ, Calif. - The battle over who will be the next owner of the property surrounding a secluded beach in Santa Cruz County could soon be over.
The land around the beach known as “Red, White and Blue” beach off of Highway 1 and Scaroni Road has reportedly been sold.
Stephen Slade, the Executive director of the Land Trust of Santa Cruz County, said they wanted to buy the land and open it up to the public as a camp ground, but said a different private owner was selected instead.
"This is, as our understanding, the last private beach and people tell me oh you can’t have a private beach in California, but you have a de facto private beach if you can control the access across your land, and that’s what’s at stake here,” said Slade.
The Land Trust put a bid in for the 170 acre plot of land which includes access to the beach, but were not chosen.
“For almost two years we have tried to save this beach. We offered the full appraised value of $17.5 million, but understand that someone was willing to offer $6+ million over that,” said Slade.
The new buyer is unknown and it is unclear what they will do with the land.
Slade said, “We are hopeful, of course, that the mystery buyer backs out once they realize the limits of what you can do in the Coastal Zone. I’ve also found myself thinking there is perhaps a way to build a trail along the State Park property bluffs overlooking the beach – and even stairs going down to the beach. That way the last private beach in the County won’t be private anymore.”
KION's Ashley Keehn will have more at 5 and 6 p.m.