One of the most luxurious hotels in the Bay Area has been hit with a stiff fine and a stern warning after blocking public access to a nearby beach.
The California Coastal Commission fined The Ritz-Carlton in Half Moon Bay $1.6 million after being issued repeated warnings.
After being allowed to build the hotel in Half Moon Bay, part of the agreement was that they must allow public access to the beach.
The coastal commission alleges valets are parking golfer cars in public access stalls. In addition, the commission says visitors are being intimidated by security and people are deterred from driving to the beach.
After being issued the fine, visitors had no trouble going to the shore.
"Beautiful vistas, no one stopped me, no one restricted me, I had great access," said beach visitor James Lessenger. "Evidently, the Ritz-Carlton got the message."