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  • Bob Papke

County Seeks Public Opinion On Vehiclular Beach Access

Updated: Oct 29

The Tillamook County Board of Commissioners is seeking public opinion on vehicular beach access and has opened a testimony period between October 5th and October 20th at 4:00 p.m.

The COVID-19 pandemic and Oregon Governor Kate Brown’s Emergency Stay-at-Home Order prompted the Tillamook County Board of Commissioners’ emergency closure of vehicle access to county beaches in March 2020. Since that time, the Board has received public interest favoring a permanent closure..


Tillamook County Board of Commissioners is seeking public opinion on vehicular beach access and has opened a testimony period between October 5th and October 20th at 4:00 p.m.

Tillamook County tourism continues to grow rapidly, overloading the county’s capacity to manage the increasing number of visitors. The tidal wave of tourists overloads beaches with vehicles and enforcement agencies, like the Tillamook County Sheriff’s Office and Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, lack the capacity to patrol. Additional resources assigned to increase patrol take away from serving and protecting the rest of the county.

Oregon beaches were historically designated as highways before an extensive road system provided a means to travel from one destination to another. Times have changed; there are now more cars and beaches are no longer used for traveling.

The Tillamook County Board of Commissioners is seeking public opinion on vehicular beach access and has opened a testimony period between October 5th and October 20th at 4:00 p.m.


When submitting testimony, along with your name and address, please provide a yes or no response to the following questions:

• Vehicle use should be prohibited at all four Tillamook County beach access points.

• Vehicle use should be allowed at Tillamook County beach access points:

o Tierra del Mar (Sand Lake Road);

o McPhillips Drive;

o Cape Kiwanda Parking Lot (Hungry Harbor Drive); and/or

o Pacific City Turnaround.

This process is not intended to pursue change to beach access for boaters to park and launch, as is currently allowed under Oregon Administrative Rules. The Board of Commissioners has not received public interest in such a change.

After reviewing all public testimony, the Board of Commissioners will consider whether to request the Oregon Parks and Recreation Commission initiate a statewide process to amend the Oregon Administrative Rules governing vehicular beach access. The state legislature would enact such a change. If the state undertakes administrative rulemaking, there will be additional public process and an official public comment period in the future.

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