Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Power to the People

I just got back from a weeks vacation on the Northern Oregon Coast. We had a great time with my wife's sister and her husband. The weather was great (just a light Oregon "mist" on a couple of days) three sunny days with no wind. We saw all sorts of neat "tourist" stuff and marvelled at the access to the Oregon beaches. Thanks to Oswald West, Tom McCall, and later Governors, the beaches in Oregon are state property and property owners cannot restrict access to the beach. Consequently, everyone can walk on the beach and enjoy the wonders that the ocean provides. Contrast that to our visit to the Connecticutt shore a few years ago. We were given a "pass" to a "public" beach by our motel and told that that would be the only place we could get to the ocean. (actually Long Island Sound) All the other beaches were restricted and available only to the land owners. I can now understand why public beaches are so crowded! There just aren't that many open beaches available back there.
In Oregon, beachfront property owners are prohibited from doing anything to the beach that will change the site. That's why there aren't any of those ugly concrete barriers on the beaches of Oregon. If you want to build right on the beachfront you take your chances with mother nature. That stops folks from building huge eyesores right at the edge of the beach. Most property owners use a setback to protect their homes from winter waves and we don't have too many folks losing their homes every winter as other areas do. Thanks Os and Tom for a great vacation.

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