Letter from Bruce & Erin Bailey

To: San Juan County Land Bank Board; San Juan County Council; Port of Lopez

We are writing to express our strong opposition to the proposed acquisition of the Clure Property by the San Juan County Land Bank.

Having been a member of the Lopez community since our family bought our “A-Frame” cabin on Meadow Lane in 1975, we couldn’t be more disappointed of what we have learned over the last few weeks regarding the impending purchase.  The overall hast involving these proceedings – or lack thereof –  leads us to believe one thing for certain – something is very amiss.  For there to be no public process or consideration of the environmental impact this would bring tells me the people behind this effort to complete the purchase feel the results of such due diligence would lead to an unsatisfactory result – and ultimately deny the purchase.

FACT:  The San Juan County has labeled this stretch of beach a “Critical Area” to be protected.  Its significance is documented on the County Master Program Shoreline Map, showing the highest ecological habitat function. The feeder bluffs along this entire 2-mile stretch have been identified as the highest priority bluffs for restoration in SJ County (Coastal Geologic Services Study for Friends of the San Juan’s, 9, 2010).

Concerns:

  • Flat out, there has been no public process – the first time the Clure property was listed was on the Land Bank’s agenda was November 18 – barely one month ago.
  • We live in a part of the world where protection of the environment is at the forefront, yet – there have been no environmental studies of the impact increased use on this pristine wild beach would bring, despite the potential number of visitors this would bring:
    • Over 18,000+ visitors visit Watmough Bay each year
    • Over 14,500+ visit Iceberg Point
    • It is estimated that Shark Reef/King’s Point Park’s attendance exceeds both.
      In short, this is an abrogation of the public trust to allow access without first understanding the full impacts of that access on the neighborhood and the fragile shoreline.

We call upon the San Juan County Land Bank to halt this process until comprehensive studies are undertaken to evaluate the ramifications of converting a “nearly pristine” beach into a new tourist attraction.

Bruce and Erin Bailey

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