Coastal Commission Warns Malibu Café to Stop Charging for Beach Access Again

If you head to Malibu’s Paradise Cove this summer and you’re asked to cough up $20, tell them to stick it where the sun don’t shine.

The owners of the Paradise Cove Beach Café were warned for a second time last month that they have no right to charge the public for access to the beach and pier. They’ve reportedly been charging people a $20 membership fee even though they aren't supposed to. If they don’t stop, the California Coastal Commission has threatened to fine them $11,250 per day.

The Kissel Co. said it stopped charging walk-in fees last year after it was found to be in violation of the California Coastal Act. But lately, allegations of beach-going charges have surfaced once again.

The owners insist the charges are only for the private facilities, such as parking, showers and restaurants. But the California Coastal Commission found that explanation to be a little fishy.

“Today, there is a slightly different name for the fee being charged by Paradise Cove, which they state is for using their facilities,” said Andrew Willis, a coastal commission enforcement supervisor. “We have seen evidence that their employees have directed people who refused to pay to go left of the pier, citing that Paradise Cove was private property — but this is just not accurate.”

The California Coastal Commission said it is partnering with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department to ensure public access. The State Lands Commission is also investigating the matter.

Read more about the probes here.