THE PRESS · DEM
The Redwood Ernpire~s Leading Newspaper
SANTA ROSA, CALIFORNIA - The City Designed- for Living _
FRIDAY AFTERNOON, JANUAR ;.,.4, 1969
Que tion of Tidelands Ownership
Ra· sed Before Access Committee
By DO ENGDAHL pear at least a possibility that' nance. If the line of public owner-
. Sonoma County's special com· it extends even further inland. Even without it. under the ship turns out to be further in-mittee
on coastal . access met Deputy County <counsel James subdivision map a.ct, the super- land than previously thought.
again yesterday, appeared no Botz says / the first answer visors have ' the power to re- the implications include the efnearer
resolution of sharp intra- would have been given last year quire access dedication: be told feet on the Gualala River park'
fraternal differences and, sched- during the stormy controversy the committee that yesterday site 'offered Iby Sea Ranch as an
uled another . meeting for next before the Board of Supervisors and added: "whether they ex- alternative to G!ccess points;
Friday. ,over ' a use permit and zoning ercise it or not is another mat- through its development.
Yesterday's meeting was de- for the northern two-thirds of ter." The park, formally offered by
,oted to finding some narrow the lO.'S-mile Sea Ranch front- Oceanic Properties last Octo_ I
common ground in the con- age on the north county ,coast. Limit her, was said to include 25
troversy and preliminal'Y dis- But that exact question wasn't As for the exact limits of pub- acres of "sandy beach" at the '
cussions' of tJhe broad areas O!f asked by the county leaders: lie ownership along the county river's mouth, plus 101 acres or'
dispute in the years-old issue. The question posed was wheth- coast, Mr. Botz says under the headland. . :
Although the supervisor~p- er the access points could be terms of the Mexican land If the possibility that PUbliCi
pointed committee seems some required as a coildition of the grants that turned them to pri- ownership is to the high , wave
distance from issuing a recom- use permit. vate use it e:xtends to the "ex- materializes, ',conceivably a pormendation
to the Board of Su- Under the conditions present 'ira-ordinary" high tide line. ' tion of the beach lands are 8J·1
pervisors, the staffwork - pri- -withotlt a showing of a public The deputy county counsel ready in public .ownership.· I
marily leg.al - has produced "burden" :by reason of the Oce- says he is not yet entirely sure
some new .definitions and pos- anic Properties development - what that means. But he says . Charles peaks Out
si:bilities: the access couldn't have been he's certain it, is at least the As some of Lhose points were.
I-1J)espite contentions 'by the required legally, Mr. Botz says. extreme high .tide line, and discussed ~Testerday committee '
Board of Supervisors and oth- F'urther, Mr. Botz says-de- says there's a possibility i,t may member' George Charles, Cazaers
last yeaJ', the county does spite some dark aUegaUons to even mean a wave line. dem ~ appointed to represent
have the power to require coas- the ' contrary by some county of- Aside from that, there appears the coastal landowners - fortal
land developers...t;o give rights ficials in the prelimina.ry dis- to be some question as to where m,ally wenl on record in tIlelr
of way or build streets to the putes over Proposition B on the the boundaries of the original behalf a saying they think '
coa. t as a 'ondition of subdivi- November ballot-he thinks the land grant were reaUy drawn there is a "very large quession
approval. defeated coastal access mea- -the limit of high tide . or fur- tion" as to who owns the tide-
2-Public ownership of tide- sure would "clearly. have been ther inland. , lands. ,
lands extends not to the :rl1ean valid," and especially if it had He's researching the original Well, aid Chairman A, E. Gal·
high tide but to the "extraordi- been written as an amendment grants in an attempt Lo 'esta,b- Ii, Cloverdale, the committee has
nary" high tide and there ap- to the county subdivision ordi~ lish 'that point, he said. (Continued 011 Page 3, Col. 3) ~
Question of Tidelands · Ownership
Ru,ise£l <~ BeiQre ~4_ccess Committee
(Continued from Page 1) I
to .assume that the tidelands are I
in pUiblic ownership. Ooasta1 ·
landowners, said Mr. Charles,
Aside from those issues, the
five-man committee did reach
agreemtnt on a fun<!amental
point: "Some form of · coastal
access should be provided."
And they agreed that it should
be done through a pre-determined
policy ,and master plan.
But discussion of some propositions
advanced by Californians
Organi1zed to Acquire Access to
State Tidelands (COAAST) produced
only minimal unanimity.
points undeveloped until "some
level of government" can prop-erly
deve'lope them. \'~'::'
Landowner rep r es tative
Charles nailed his position down
with a prepar,ed sta;~emerit th?t
said corridors would be udiscriminatory"
in that they would
benefit only a limited segment
of coast users, and that instead
multi-purpose use parks i t es
should be considered and purchased
with state and federal
Dr. William Kortum, head of
the group that unsuccessfully
And condemnation p ow er s
shouldn't be used he said; it
would be more logical to buy
them "as they become available"
from willing sellers.
J Committeeman Dr. Kenneth
sought the county initiative or-! Stocking, Sonoma State College)
dinance in November, had laid professor (who next week is t~
down a 1'4-point position calling give a position statement to the
for access to the coast in "its group) ..said he thinks the counentirety."
ty should as policy buy all lands
The proposition drew support seaward of Highway 1 "when
from Joseph McClelland, sea they are available."
Ranch project director and an- Tidelands 'Locked'
other committee member, on Another OOAAST point was
only a few points-such 'as ex- that the "lack of ~ccess to pubempting
agricultural lands un- lie tidelands creates a landless
they are bought from "will-ing
sellers," master planning, locked parcel;" the tidelands.
Dr. Kortum said that's a
designation of Highway 1 as a
scenic state rou.te, using "un-' point that · surely someday will
obtrusive access routes" and be taken up by the public, and
placing parking 'and camping proposed that the committee an- '
uses easterly of Highway 1 ticipate that by ma~g . it part
" h 'bI " of the recommendatIOns and
w erever POSSI e. , 'd' t I k'
But other of the hard COAAST provi ~ng means 0 un oc mg
~~~~_ = _ . __ .. _~ the co st. .
propositions proved major haz- !But ,Mr. McClelland said the
ards to committee ' navigation. approach should be to buy the
Among them are the ideas of access 'routes. As he saw it,
making "traversible public tide- he said, the OOAAJST argument
lands" avai1a!ble' ~n their en- is "here is the highway, here
'tirety," making all roads s - is the puiblic land, and the hell
ward of Highway: 1 pUblic road with what's in the middle."
creating a "bluff side traU"' · No one, pe ,said; Is "worry-,
along the entire coast, 'and leav- ing about the property owner" I
,ing ' dedicated tideland access and said the icJe'a is that wl1~
property changes hands "a third II
hand reaches in and grabs . a
part of it." l
Dr . . Kortum 'insisted there is I
a 'i,constitutiona~ right" of 'ac-l
cess fo the tidelands and pur-\
chasers should be aware of it.
~her, he said, the proc~ss ofl
requiring dedication of public
rights of way-the "third hand""
-is "nothing new, its exercised
every day" during subdivision
Dr. Stocking appeared to
agree that when subdivisions
are approved access should be
a part of the subdivisions.
And he noted that the "third
hand" of the puiblic also provides
benefits to the subdivider~ '
Dr. Kortun said COAAST pro-'
poses the bluff-side :trail idea I
as a cQncept for the future. The
county could be a "real leader'"
in setting up plans for it, he
said, and added that Sea Ranch
includes such a system for private
,use. And it might be, he
said,"that much of the face
of the bluff already belongs to
the public." . matical yeiterd.ay.
Chairman Galli agreed that In the ~ackground lies the pos- .
it might be included as a con- sibility that the now battIe- needed SIgnatures equal to 10;
cept for future planning. hardened COAAST group might pe~ cent of the last guberna-
When he adjol:lrn-ed the meet- try another. initiative petition tonal ~ote (or 6,l~~) in orderl
ing of the "committee of 100 that would gIVe the voters anoth to qualIfy the petItIon for the
days" he said he hoped they'd er chance to . write a county general election. ;
be able at the next meeting to law. The organization finally quali-1
begin writing pieces of the re- Some members of COAA:ST fied 9,158 signatures, or 14 per!
port that is due March 10. have. said recent discussions cent. I
Whethe: the five men finally have hlcluded the possibility of 1£ they got 12,286 the super.'
resolve differences and come up making some modifications in visors would be forced to set a
with a single set of recommen- the law tried last fall, beefing special election on the initiative I
dati~ns or instead give the su- up the organization and then try- -and some COAAST members;
pervlsors a sort of multiple- ing to force a special election. have expressed confidence that'
choice report appeared proble.. The last time around COAAST they could easily do that. '
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