Seattle City Council supports use of eminent domain to reclaim formerly public beach

The saga of the small beach at the end of NE 130th Street —formerly the only public water access for a 5.5 mile stretch on Lake Washington shoreline— continues.

The beach at the end of NE 130th Street. (LCL photo)

Adjacent property owners sued to secure ownership of the property, because of what has been described as a legal loophole, and won. The ruling was upheld by an appeals court and they now own the small stretch of shoreline.

The beach had previously been public for 82 years. Community members have fought back by organizing and rallying to return the property to the public. Momentum within the movement to return the small piece of property to the public has now spread aross much of Northeast Seattle.

(You can read about the case in previous coverage here, here and here.)

Now in the most recent development, all nine Seattle City Council members have signed a letter to Mayor Murray, stating that they support the use of eminent domain to reclaim the NE 130th Street Beach for the public.

A petition with over 2,400 signatures was part of the effort to sway the councilmembers.

“This fight is not over. It is possible that eminent domain litigation may take months or even years, unless a settlement is reached. But we will prevail in the end, and the NE 130th Street Beach will be a public park forever, as everyone intended back in 1932,” said a statement from members of the Save the Beach campaign.

Stairs leading down to Lake Washington offer messages about the beach. (LCL photo)

You can see the letter from the Seattle City Council below.

Download (PDF, 386KB)