Existing public beaches on Lopez Island all have extensive upland to support their beach front so their entire beaches are owned and enjoyed by the public. They also have supervised off-the-public-road parking and access trails that are safe and maintained within their property boundaries. Examples are Odlin Park, Spencer Spit, and Watmough Bay.
The proposed Clure purchase by the Land Bank has NONE of the above conditions. There is very little upland beach front and, as of now, no planned parking. The property has no access to a public road. To gain access they would have to trespass over private land or private easements. The existing way to the beach through the property is on private easements that are not meant for public use.
According to Washington State law, upland ownership is the key to how much of a beach can be dedicated to public use. This particular stretch of beach has private owners down to the Mean High Tide Line because the bank and land above is all privately owned. Therefore this proposal does NOT provide access to two miles of “nearly pristine beach on the West side of Lopez Island” as the Land Bank stated in an 11/15/16 news article. It only provides access to 233 feet of beach from the bank to the water’s edge as this is the frontage of the Clure property. The rest of the two miles has only public tideland and that will be under water except at low tide. Tideland is NOT the entire beach. The sand and driftwood areas above the Mean High Tide Line would be private, except at the base of the Clure property. ANYONE WHO WALKS ON THE PRIVATE LAND IS TRESPASSING.
Can the Land Bank keep people from trespassing on the private beach areas? Probably not. Signs haven’t worked in other areas. Already the head of the Trails Group has been photographed trespassing on my property.
The Land Bank has published that it will end up paying about $900,000.00 for parcels A and B of the Clure property. This property has 233 feet of waterfront so it would be $3,863.00 per foot. Even if the Land Bank feels no guilt using public money in such an extravagant way, it should be very concerned about all the trespassing this proposal sets up. It doesn’t matter how many folk think it is okay to trespass; it is still illegal. Doing so is an accident, arrest, or a lawsuit waiting to happen.
It is impossible to legally use this property as its proponents envisioned. Many people have written and detailed reasons why the sale should stop so I won’t repeat them here. You could go to savelopezshoreline.com. I do implore that you abandon this purchase before it is too late.
377 Meadow Lane since 1972