Sean Parker’s novel restitution – a statewide beach access mobile app

Sean Parker, investor and Napster co-founder, is working on a California public access mobile app as part of his settlement last year with the state Coastal Commission over his wedding at Big Sur.

The app, which isn’t yet complete, would help visitors get access to California’s public beaches, which sometimes are hard to find amid private property.

While California’s beaches are public, private landowners often block access with “No Trespassing” signs or closed gates. Venture capitalist Vinod Khosla recently lost a fight to keep a gate locked on his property near Half Moon Bay, as the Mercury News reported.

Fights in southern California led to the creation of an app for Malibu beaches, as the Los Angeles Times reported.

Parker, who is reportedly working on the technology himself, is using the commission’s data. The app will belong to the commission, said Sarah Christie, a spokesperson for the commission.

Working with Parker “gives us access to the most cutting-edge technology,” she said. “This is an example of lemons turning to lemonade.”

Some of the construction in preparation for Parker’s Big Sur wedding was in violation of the state’s Coastal Act. As part of the settlement with the commission, Parker and his wife agreed to provide $1.4 million in grants. Recipients were announced earlier this month, the Mercury News reported and Parker released this statement:

Alexandra and I are proud to support organizations that promote education, access to and the conservation of the Big Sur coast. In working closely with the California Coastal Commission to select the recipients, we believe that these grants build on our long-standing commitment to Big Sur and will help ensure that present and future generations continue to benefit from this American treasure.

In addition, Parker agreed to help the commission with a technology project that would promote coastal public access. It is expected out before June, according to The Open Standard.

Above: Sean Parker and then-fiance Alexandra Lenas.  (Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images for SXSW)




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