Letter from Warren Demetrick


San Juan County Council members
Land Bank Commissioners
Lopez Port Commissioners

Respected Officials ,

I oppose the Land Bank attempt to create a public beach by purchase of the Clure Lopez property West of the Airport. In this area west of the Lopez airport the seaward 25 to 36 feet of the beach is part of the adjacent private property as defined by the county,  and this strip would receive all of the beach traffic.

This part of the beach is made up of the walkable sand stretch, the driftwood, the toe of the highbank, and adjacent rocks thereof. This seaward extent is defined by the average high tide as specified by the county. This means that beachwalkers would be on private property at least half of the time. Also, at that point the sea bottom gets steeper and increasingly covered by slippery stones so walkers would seek to walk in comfort on the private property even at low tide.

Public at large would not know where the beach transitions to private property.  This would open up a situation for community unrest and many conflicts between the public and current homeowners.

Here are the Big Questions :

  • How will the Land Bank and the county guarantee the property owners that they  ( the Land Bank and County) will control the public and enforce a line between public and private beach?
  • How will the Land Bank and County assume all responsibility for damages to the private property when caused by the visiting public?
  • Will the Land Bank and the County guarantee they would assume full liability for any member of the Public who is injured while trespassing on adjacent private property?

If you can not or will not address the above three issues, then I am fully against your attempt to create a public beach where property boundaries, legal issues, and geological features are against it. Your decisions here should not be based on a popularity contest, but on existing county rules, regulations,  and laws.


Warren Demetrick
Property  parcel number   253343006000