Pacific Northwest
North Lincoln Fire & Rescue District water rescue crews attempt to pass a vehicle stuck in the sand at the bottom of the 15th Street beach access June 7, 2014.Jeremy C. Ruark / Country Media, Inc.

OR - Photos / No Vehicles: Plan to close local beach access under review

Vehicle access to two locations along the beach at Lincoln City could be discontinued under a proposal under review by the Lincoln City Council and the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department.

A wave washes over this car stuck in the sand at the 15th Street beach entrance May 14, 2014. A large piece of construction equipment was brought in to help pull the car to higher ground.Courtesy

During a work session Feb. 8, the council reviewed the process that had been initiated in December in which the council passed Resolution 2022-45.

The resolution is a formal request to the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) to begin a public process to permanently close the NW 34th Court access to the public and permit only emergency vehicle access to that location.

The city council also requested that the ORPD review the NW 15th Street beach access regarding its suitability for continued use, including whether beach access is appropriate.

The council Resolution 2022-45 extended the closure of NW 34th Court to December 2023. The vehicle beach access at NW 15th Street remains open.

Congestion, safety concerns

Discussion by city officials about the need for the vehicle access closures at the beach has been underway for several years.

The concerns center around the vehicle congestion and public safety on the beach, especially in the summer. Access by emergency vehicles is slowed. High waves and sneaker waves along the beach have also raised concerns.

Over the years, vehicles have gotten stuck in the sand, and on several occasions, been swamped by the incoming tide. Pulling the vehicles from the rising tide can be dangerous and expensive, according to officials.

Following the Feb. 8 work session, Lincoln City Parks & Recreation Department Director Jeanne Sprague said the city is moving ahead with its request to the state agency.

“Lincoln City is already following the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department process, by requesting the agency’s Parks Commission consider the requests in Council approved Resolution 2022-45,” Sprague said.

OPRD response

“These small parking areas are unique to Lincoln County,” OPRD spokesman Chris Havel said. “Other stretches of the beach are open to driving, but these spots are more about parking, and the closest parallel would be the spot up at Cape Kiwanda that went through this same process in 2020 and is now closed to most parking. So, our response is: when a local government formally asks is to change a beach driving rule, we do.”

Read more.