Work begins at long contested road end

Road Ends Committee member Vince Larson inspects recent work Fletcher Landing.  - Tad Sooter/Staff Photo
Road Ends Committee member Vince Larson inspects recent work Fletcher Landing.
— image credit: Tad Sooter/Staff Photo

Armed with a court order approving their work, more than a dozen volunteers began the task of revitalizing the Fletcher Landing road end Friday.

The city had been in a near-decade legal struggle with residents near the road end over whether the shoreline access point on the south side of Fletcher Bay should be open to the public. Residents had maintained that the road end and adjacent tidelands were private.

But three court decisions, the most recent in 2006, maintained that the former Mosquito Fleet ferry terminal had been intended for public use and a gate installed by homeowners was removed.

Since then the road end has sat idle as the city developed plans for the site.

Saturday’s work party, organized by the city’s Road Ends Committee, brought the first improvements to the site since litigation ended.

Volunteers tore back overgrown brush, spread wood chips and planted new bushes along berms on each side of the 40-foot-wide lane. A simple set of stairs and a ramp were constructed for access to the beach, which faces Rich Passage and Brownsville on the Kitsap Peninsula.

Road Ends committee member Vince Larson said the work will make the popular site more usable.

“It gets a lot of neighborhood use,” said Larson, who lives just south of Fletcher Landing. “People want to get down to where they can take a deep breath and look out on the mountains.”

Larson said several homeowners from the area stopped by the work party Saturday to ask about the legality of their work.

Larson said he had a copy of a court order protecting their work from obstruction to help explain the situation.

The city has plans to remove a bulkhead at the end of the road and create a natural beach, but that project is on hold.

The Road Ends Committee is no longer receiving funding. The city provided wood chips for the Fletcher Landing project Saturday, but materials for the stairs were paid for out-of-pocket by Road Ends Committee members. One volunteer brought a tractor to aid the effort.

The Road Ends committee is organizing a volunteer work party for the Beck Road road end off Pleasant Beach Drive, Saturday. For information, contact Marci Burkel, 780-0601.

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