Private property owners have once again been prioritized over public interest by the Tillamook County Commissioners. The road vacations provide for a 10’ access easement, down from 40’. Public comment by emergency responders stated that 10’ is not adequate for emergency access. It also permanently removes the ability to improve these access areas to provide for ADA access, picnic benches, etc.
We are completely disheartened that the Commission chose to take gorgeous coastal property and give it to private property owners who stand to gain thousands of dollars in exchange.
The Commissioner’s order states that this decision is in the public interest, but the public has only lost – forever – these special areas. More than a quarter of the roads in Tierra Del Mar that terminate at the beach have now been vacated by the County. With Austin and Holly avenue already vacated, there are few options for access over 10 feet on the north end of Tierra Del Mar. The dune (mostly due to shoreline armoring) begins to rise dramatically on Pier avenue, leaving steep entries and exits on Pier and Pollock. Roma currently does not have public beach access. Thus, the most northerly intact and manageable 40 feet access point was Guardenia.
While dismayed by this decision, we are not shocked. The Tillamook County Board of Commissioners have consistently sided with private property owners over the rights of the public and public use.