Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Seattlelites - Save The Beach



Dear Readers,

There is a tiny Lake Washington pocket beach hidden away in NE Seattle near Lake City. Although nothing fancy, it's the only public beach access point between Matthews Beach to the south and Log Boom Park in Kenmore, several miles to the north.

As a kid growing up in the neighborhood, we would frequently visit the park during the summer months to swim. It has a nice sandy beach and is shallow for fifty feet, making it perfect for little kiddos. People launch kayaks and windsurfers from the site and Ben has had several nice dips here in the past few years. People bicycling by on the nearby Burke Gilman Trail often stop for a quiet break or a picnic lunch. Our family has picked up trash and my father worked to eradicate the invasive Japanese knot weed from the property. It’s a nice little community gem.

Last year the City decided to make improvements to the park, only to have the adjacent landowners file suit, claiming that they, not the city (and by extension, the public) were the rightful owners of this tiny beach.

The specifics of the case can be found in this article from MyNorthwest.com.

The elimination of this little park due to the neighbor’s land grab would be such a loss to the community.

Today the case is being heard by the Division 1 Court of Appeals at One Union Square in downtown Seattle. The case will likely be presented at 10:30am.

A verdict will likely be rendered in 2-6 months. In the meantime, a letter to the mayor, letting him know of our support for the park would be greatly appreciated. (Frankly, I think they should expand the park by about fifty feet on either side. That would get rid of the landowner problem....)

Anyway, Mayor Ed Murray can be contacted here.

Here is the letter that I sent. Please feel free to copy and/or adapt. Your time and efforts are greatly appreciated, my dears, thank you.

Dear Mayor Murray, The community of Cedar Park and Lake City are in legal fight to save the only Lake Washington access between Matthews Beach and Kenmore Park. The two adjacent neighbors sued King County (and later Seattle) for ownership of the street-end beach located at NE 130th Street. They claim that they are longtime stewards of the land and should therefore own it. So not true! Our family has long picked up trash and worked to eradicate invasive plant species at the beach. I spent a lot of time swimming at the park and am now teaching my three year old son to do the same. The loss of this water access would be tragic for our neighborhood. This is a park worth fighting for!! Please help us keep this beach public and out of the hands of the adjacent land owners who already have water access. 


Keep your fingers crossed for us, Peeps. It would be such a shame to lose our wee little park.

xo,

Sonja


Image: Google Maps. Location of the beach here.


4 comments:

  1. Anonymous5:54 PM

    I was at this beach with my dog last summer. Instead of talking to me about his obvious disdain for our presence, particularly when my dog jumped over rocks on his property to get to the lake, the guy from the house on the right whipped out his cell phone and took pictures of us. I wasn't drinking or smoking or causing a ruckus, nor was my dog pooping or wandering on or even near his property. When I asked him what he was doing he just stared hard back and said nothing. After about ten minutes of feeling completely uncomfortable about what he was doing, my dog and I left. I don't know if he was trying to gather evidence so that he could call the cops on us for supposedly trespassing or use it to justifiably file for private property rights (or maybe he was a shameless perv), but I felt seriously violated. Please reclaim this beach from this passive aggressive *******...he doesn't deserve to own it.

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  2. No kidding. Word on the street is he’s going to use his half of the beach to subdivide his property and build a giant new house. Which is great for him, but for the thousands of people that have used that beach for 80 years, it’s a horrible outcome. Definitely write a letter to our city council; they’re looking into the issue right now and so desperately need community feedback!

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    1. Sonja, I also have lived in all the West coast states, including Hawai'i, as I now split my time between Moloka'i and my boat at Shilshole. I grew up at NE 127th and 42 Ave NE.So of course I spent many Summer days centered on this beach. I have an idea for an action which could help us reclaim our beach. Please contact me at swimmingpenguin@comcast.net or at 808 558 8353. Aloha, Jeff

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  3. Jeff, thanks for your comment! I just sent you an email from my personal account. Let me know if you don't get it as I'd love to connect with you. Thanks! Sonja

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