Letter to Tillamook County Board of Commissioners: Continuing Vehicular Beach Access at Tierra del Mar

Good morning Commissioners:
I have learned the Tillamook BoCC, “… is considering a resolution … that will continue vehicular beach access at Tierra del Mar beyond October 1 and until November 21” at its meeting to be convened on September 30, 2020.  The reopening of beach access at Tierra Del Mar has been a failure on multiple levels; safety of pedestrians, including children, on the beach, trash and waste accumulation on the beach, noise, responsible driving conduct, protection of the beach habitat leading into the Sitka Sedge State Natural Area are but a few.

As you may be aware, community members of Tierra Del Mar have responded to the impact of the reopened beach access by organizing a “Beach Watch” program.  Beach Watch volunteers have documented violations of posted advisories, unsafe driving, spilled porta-potties, and even conduct that appears to be either intentional recklessness or DUI.  The Beach Watch program created a website on which it has posted photo/video documentation.  See the link below.  As of this writing, 99 photos and six videos have been posted, thus demonstrating the significant ongoing adverse impact of the BoCC’s decision to reopen the beach access.  Beach Watch volunteers have contacted the Sheriff’s Office on multiple occasions seeking enforcement response.  Beach Watch volunteers have also assisted drivers stuck in the sand, sometimes blocking potential emergency access/egress.
None of you live here in Tierra Del Mar.  So, you do not experience the daily foibles we in the community observe/endure. I have little doubt if you experienced what we do, you would not be considering a continuation of vehicular beach access.  You would know that such action is folly bordering on negligence.  The past six weeks has fully demonstrated unpatrolled ubiquitous and unlimited vehicular access to the beach at Tierra Del Mar invites bad driver behavior, an unsafe environment for people on the beach, disregard for posted notifications and a diminished quality of life for the residents of Tierra Del Mar.
It is unconscionable the BoCC would consider doubling down on its flawed decision to open vehicular beach access at Tierra Del Mar by continuing it for another seven weeks.  Please.  Do.  Not.  Do. This.
Here’s the link to the Beach Watch photo/video website:

Ed Ruttledge, Tierra Del Mar