After 82 years, public beach ruled to be private property; neighborhood groups advocating for public access

 

This Lake Washington access point was ruled to be private property at the end of NE 130th Street.

This Lake Washington access point was ruled to be private property at the end of NE 130th Street.

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New stairs were constructed to the beach before the lawsuit.

The only public access to Lake Washington in Lake City and Cedar Park was ruled to be privately-owned property, and the State Supreme Court recently upheld the ruling. This after 82 years of paddling, swimming, wading and enjoyment for land-locked folks in the community. After a unanimous vote by the Lake City Neighborhood Alliance, a network of organizations are now advocating to keep the beach access public.

The lawsuit came just as funding was secured and improvements were made to the park via a recent Parks and Green Spaces Levy. Lake City Live first reported about the legal dispute in April 2013. Click here to read story.

From the Lake City Neighborhood Alliance:

This small, local, Cedar Park community beach, established 82 years ago, is the only water access in the Lake City neighborhoods. It is the only public access to Lake Washington in the 5-mile stretch from Matthews Beach to Log Boom Park in Kenmore.

Since 1932 this beach has been open to public use. Nobody questioned the public nature of this property until it was purchased in October of 2010 and then 2 years later, the new owners and an adjacent neighbor sued King County and Seattle for ownership. By exploiting a technical procedural error made 82 years ago, they were able to take this property away from the public. There is no question that this beach was intended to remain public in perpetuity. Only a legal loophole allowed the adjacent landowners to succeed in their court case.

Resident David Pope has been working for years to bring awareness of the loss of the beach to the community. He regularly contributes to the Facebook Group “Friends of NE 130th Beach.” He will make a presentation to the Lake City Neighborhood Alliance in February.

You can read the Lake City Neighborhood Alliance letter to City of Seattle leaders below.

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You can see a Google Street view of the area below:


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