Tech billionaire Sean Parker settles Big Sur wedding coastal violations by creating app for California beachgoers

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. —Five years ago, Facebook billionaire Sean Parker held an extravagant wedding in Big Sur, after which he agreed to pay $2.5 million to settle violations of California’s coastal laws because his crews built rock walls, a stone bridge, a cottage, dance floor and other structures in a sensitive redwood forest — without permits.

As part of the settlement, he also agreed to help create a new mobile phone app so that anyone wanting to visit the coast in California could easily find public beaches, trails and parking.

That new app, called YourCoast, went live. It can be downloaded from Apple iTunes for free.

“This is a case of turning lemons into lemonade,” said Lisa Haage, the California Coastal Commission’s chief of enforcement. “We literally ended up working with some of the world’s best tech engineers to create something that everyone can use and enjoy.”

Currently, the app only works on Apple iPhones. For owners of other phones, the information is on a Coastal Commission website, at www.yourcoast.org

The new app pinpoints the locations of 1,563 public beaches, including places in Malibu that wealthy property owners have worked over the years to keep secret or dissuade the public from visiting.

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