So There’s a New Public Access Pathway for ‘Billionaires’ Beach’ in Malibu

July 3, 2015 by Brian Champlin

Score another point for Malibu beach access advocates.

This coming Tuesday the California Coastal Commission will announce the opening of a third public access point to Carbon Beach, a mile-long stretch of sand just east of the Malibu Pier also sometimes referred to as ‘Billionaires’ Beach’.


The opening of the new path concludes a near decade-long battle with Malibu resident Lisette Ackerberg and the Coastal Commission, which resulted in a 2013 settlement where Ackerberg agreed to pay $1.1 million to cover costs of building out a paved, wheeler-chair accessible pathway adjacent to her property.

(For more information on the details of the dispute, I’d refer you to the most excellent reporting of Martha Groves at the L.A. Times.)

Malibu Beach Facing South

A view down the shoreline of a stretch of beach in Malibu. Credit: tensaibuta via flickr

For beach-goers interested in visiting Carbon Beach, there are now three entry points with public access:

  1. 22706 Pacific Coast Highway (Zonker-Harris path)
  2. 22466 Pacific Coast Highway (Ackerberg path)
  3. 22126 Pacific Coast Highway (Geffen Path)

As you may or may not know, per the California Coastal Act, along the coastline of California, the public has the right to access the sand between the mean high-tide line and the water.

Of course access to that land, well, that’s another story…

Over the years a lot of rich people who value their privacy have bought property along the Malibu shoreline, and they’re not exactly keen on a flood of people cruising within mere feet of their property on a daily basis.

Now that statement may be an over simplification of the issue, but I urge you to do your own research.

For additional info / resources:

Why California’s Beaches Are Open to Everyone (KCET)

The tide finally turns on L.A. County beach access (L.A. Times Editorial)

A Malibu Beach Guide (California Coastal Commission)