A Washington State Appeals court ruled on June 30th that a beach on Lake Washington is private property and not a place the public can access the water. The ruling may change nearly 80 years of public use of the small property.
The court ruled 3-0 against the City of Seattle and King County and sided with property owners on either side of the land at the end of Northeast 130th Street.
Lake City Live first reported about the dispute in April 2013 after signs were placed on the property announcing coming improvements as part of a Parks and Green Spaces Levy. When the sign was erected announcing the street end improvements by Seattle Parks and Seattle’s Department of Transportation, the adjacent property owners filed a dispute of title, saying the land was private property. As the case made its way through court, the project at the site was put on hold.
The dispute stems from the 1926 purchase of property from the Puget Mill Company. In 1932 King County vacated the street that separated the properties. The timing of the street vacation led to the dispute.
Some residents advocating for public Lake Washington access have expressed their disappointment via a Facebook group, and are now advocating for the City of Seattle to condemn the property for public use.
Area resident David Pope wrote in letter to City leaders, “The North end of Seattle has very limited access to Lake Washington and it would be irresponsible to let this public beach be taken over by two land owners who already enjoy water access.”
The beach is the only public access to Lake Washington between Matthews Beach and the Log Boom Park in Kenmore.
You can see a Google Street view of the area below:
You can see the Washington Court of Appeals ruling below.