Island Beach Access
Key Battle Won in the War for Wonn Road
At the end of a long and contentious meeting, the Board of Island County Commissioners decided not to accept the proposed settlement in IC v Montgomery and to ask the prosecutors to resume working with Island Beach Access (IBA) to force the Montgomerys to remove their wall and give up their wrongful claims to the land and tidelands at the end of Wonn Road.
This decision was a cliff-hanger until the last commissioner spoke. It came about because a lot of people put in a lot of work. Many of you wrote to the commissioners, spoke during public comment times at the commissioners’ meetings, signed petitions, and passed the word to your friends and neighbors.
Although this was a hard-won battle, the final victory will come only after the Skagit County Superior Court rules on the facts and the law of the case. IBA’s all-volunteer legal team will be there fighting alongside Island County to preserve our cherished public access at the end of Wonn Road.
IBA’s legal team is comprised of a small group of professionals who have been working diligently for three years to bring about this victory. The final victory will require a trial, and for that we have acquired an experienced pro-bono trial lawyer to help us.
IBA has a dedicated legal team, but there are substantial costs associated with trials. These fees include: court filings, court reporters, deposition transcripts, and expert witnesses.
We urge you to donate to IBA online at PayPal or by mailing your check to P.O. Box 197, Langley, WA 98260. Contributions made out to our fiscal sponsor, Whidbey Island Land & Shore Trust (WILST), are eligible for itemized tax deductions.
We have so few public beaches on Whidbey Island. Please help us keep what we have for those of us here now and for future generations.
- clearing title to the disputed area at the end of Wonn Road (thereby retrieving our public beach access),
- adding important signage to Island County’s public beaches, and
- pushing back against encroachments on public beach accesses
And for everything that you’ve already done, a huge thanks from those of us at IBA.
Mike McVay, President, IBA
Jane Seymour, President, WILST
Getting to the Beach
Island County offers a wide variety of beach experiences. This map will provide you with all the information that you need to make your visit. Click here or on the map to start your day at the beach.
For all you Kayakers out there, Whidbey Island Sea Kayakers has generously provided some instructions and information for kayaking around Whidbey Island. You can see what they have to offer at http://www.islandbeachaccess.org/WISK.
Interested in the history of Island County's government?
We now have the Board of Island County Commissioners’ meeting minutes dating from 1853 until 2003. Take a look!
Public land encroachment is not just an Island County Issue
ICFBA is dedicated to the preservation of public beach access primarily through stopping private encroachment on public county road ends leading to those beaches but these aren't the only places in which encroachment issues occur. These events sometimes reach public attention through the media in articles like this one in the Seattle Weekly News on May 23, 2007 and The Seattle Times follow-up article dated May 4, 2012. They are not issues of disparity of class or public status but enforcement of the public right to utilize and enjoy those lands set aside for the use and enjoyment of all.
An example of encroachment on public lands has occurred at Marissa Lane. If you have witnessed this or would just like to help reverse this encroachment, please print this form and add any thing that you might have witnessed then print, sign and mail it to the Island County Department of Planning and Community Development at the address found below.
If you are aware of cases of public land encroachment in Island County, please let the county Enforcement Office know by using the Island County Planning & Community Development Complaint Investigation Form. All you have to do is complete the form, sign and date, then mail it to:
Jason Johnson, Enforcement Planner
Island County Dept of Planning and Community Development
P. O. Box 5000
Coupeville, WA 98239