The Tillamook County Board of Commissioners held a teleconference board meeting Wednesday, May 20, to consider opening additional county boat launches during the COVID-19 local state of emergency. The commissioners opened Lake Lytle, Sollie Smith and Fishers Point boat launches.
The board of commissioners designated a state of emergency within Tillamook County on March 14 due to the spread of COVID-19. On March 22, they closed all county, state and federal parks within the county, all county parking lots, beach access, and certain parking areas along road rights-of-way, and all county boat launches to non-commercial users. On May 5 and May 13, the county opened certain boat launches within the county during weekdays to users with a valid Tillamook County annual parking pass or day use pass.
The commissioners took out the restriction of the number of people per boat in the order.
“We’re also adding the Tillamook Tidewater Access, the ADA handicap accessible boat dock on Hwy 131,” Commissioner Mary Faith Bell said. “All of the launches will be open Monday through Friday, and close at Friday at 6 p.m.”
Although the emergency still exists, the board deems it is appropriate to continue reopening county facilities in a safe and strategic manner.
The following Tillamook County boat launches will be open Monday through Friday for access with an annual or day pass: Lake Lytle, Nehalem Bay, Memaloose Point, Netarts Bay, Sollie Smith, Steiner, Fishers Point, Pacific City (off Sunset Avenue) and Three Rivers.
The Tillamook Tidewater Access (Brad Dawson Tidewater Handicap Access Facility), located at Hwy 131, will be open Monday through Friday. The Tillamook County boat launch located at Hungry Harbor Drive will be open Monday through Friday for access only by recreational or commercial dory boat operators. The boat launches and Tillamook Tidewater Access will be closed at 6 p.m. on Fridays.
All other county public boat launches remain closed to non-commercial users. All county, state and federal parks within Tillamook County remain closed. All other county parking lots, beach accesses and certain parking areas along road rights-of-way remain closed.
The commissioners also voted to post a no parking zone on Cape Kiwanda Drive in Pacific City, from its intersection with Circle Drive to Pacific Avenue. The Tillamook County Public Works Department will install signs for regulating this zone.
Commissioner David Yamamoto said a majority of the business owners are concerned about too many people parking during the summer. If there are additional COVID-19 cases, the county may have to shut down again.
“Oregon Parks and Rec wants to keep beach parking closed for the time being,” Yamamoto said.
The parking lot and beach access in Cape Kiwanda is closed.