Last Saturday Ben Adair and Jenny Price had a party to celebrate the launch of their new app, Our Malibu Beaches. Fittingly, it was on the beach in Malibu — a nice canopy to sit under, kids building sand castles, Doritos and Coke for everyone. But it was kind of hard to chat because Mudvayne’s The New Game was blasting from speakers in the adjacent mansion. Not in a fun mosh pit kind of way — more like a “get off my lawn” kind of way, even though the public has been guaranteed access to all 1,100 miles of California coast since 1976.

“When we started setting up the canopy, four security guards immediately came out,” Adair recounts. But they weren’t doing anything wrong. Much of the sand in Malibu is private property — usually anything above the high-tide line — but in many cases, the dry sand is legal for anyone to chillax on. “Anytime anyone gets a zoning variance to remodel — add a pool, add a deck, combine properties and build a giant mansion — the Coastal Commission says ‘Okay, you can do that, but we’re gonna include an easement to let the public use all the dry sand in front of your property.’ Or, all of your sand, with a 10-foot privacy barrier.” On the morning of the party, Adair spotted Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison (who owns nearly two dozen beachfront homes in Malibu) taking his breakfast on the porch next door behind one of those normally unmarked 10-foot barriers.