Island Beach Access Newsletter
Email                            April 30, 2017                            DONATE!

To: Members and friends of Island Beach Access (IBA)

Activities Update:  We've been busy!

As many of you are aware, we've been very involved as Intervenors in a quiet title suit brought by Island County over the ownership of Wonn Road in Greenbank.

On 1/17/17, the Board of Island County Commissioners (BICC) voted 2 to 1 to enter into a settlement agreement with the Montgomerys allowing non-controversial beach access at Wonn Road for the first time in over 40 years. IBA is proud of our role in making this happen. Our involvement prevented this from being a legal and moral catastrophe.

This decision came almost a year after the BICC decided against a different settlement that would have blocked public access for at least the next ten years and probably longer. IBA and the public effectively fought that settlement as well as the current one, presenting evidence that they were both short-sighted, legally questionable, and unjust. But the deal is now done and the public has permanent, undisputed beach access.

What has happened since? IBA has been monitoring developments pursuant to the agreement.

Milestones:  January - March 2017

  • Montgomerys removed the ”No Trespassing“ sign and half of the stone wall that blocked public access. They removed the boardwalk and reconfigured the terrain at the south border with an earth berm. Three large rocks were placed at the entrance to prohibit vehicle access.
  • IBA scheduled a work party at the public access area. It was cancelled because, according to the agreement, proper notifications and permissions had to be obtained from the Montgomerys. Instead IBA members met to walk the public property and note work yet to be done to assure safe public access. Two members have launched kayaks and crossed Holmes Harbor to Baby Island.
  • The County has placed beach access signs on North Bluff Road. They have also placed ”No Parking&ldqou; signs on Wonn Road and a large sign showing access limits at the upper end of the beach.
  • The County moved the large rocks to conform with spacing requirements in the agreement. They also made a gravel path leading towards the beach. We have met with the County to discuss the work to date and further changes needed to improve access. They have moved the signs and some logs to enlarge the usable area and improve the access to the beach. They have also agreed to cut and clear the brush along Wonn Road as part of their normal road maintenance work and have done so at the time of this mailing. We have also urged them to remove a large low over-hanging branch that poses a danger to cars with kayaks.
  • What’s Next:  We will continue to monitor Wonn Road to make sure that the work gets done.
  • Public Beach Access day:  early planning stages. Stay tuned.

What else have we been up to? Quite a lot, actually.

We have heard from many people that our involvement in the Wonn Road litigation is all that they know about our activities and, while this has been a very important issue, there are other areas that desperately need attention in our pursuit of beach access preservation.

Some of our projects:

  • Beach Access and Boundary Signage: We undertook a very large and long term project identifying public beach accesses and getting them marked with the appropriate signage so that it is clear what is public and what it private. This work is being accomplished by interacting closely with the County and the South Whidbey Port Commission.
  • Universal Beach Accessibility: As a result of our look into proper signage, it was brought to our attention that all of Island County's public beaches are not accessible or friendly to our fellow beach goers who are mobility-challenged which led to our founding of the Universal Accessibility Project. This project is geared towards working with our county officials and the federal government to establish ADA compliant beach access so that everyone can enjoy our beautiful island home.

There will be two more emails that will explain these projects in more detail, please watch your inbox!

All donations are tax deductable if made through our fiscal sponsor, Whidbey Island Land & Shore Trust 501(c)3.


   Get involved! Attend a monthly meeting held at the WiFire Cafe (Whidbey Telecom) in Freeland on the second Friday of every month, see our events calendar for our next meeting date, or email
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