Mon. Jul 22nd, 2024

West Seattle Blog… | CONTINUED: 3 Months Later, Abandoned, Ruined, Stolen SUV Still on West Seattle Beach

By meerna Jul11,2024
West Seattle Blog… | CONTINUED: 3 Months Later, Abandoned, Ruined, Stolen SUV Still on West Seattle Beach

This afternoon, as orcas flew through our area again, the large piece of trash on the beach stood out more than ever.

(The first and last photos are from last weekend and were sent by Janel)

This stolen and abandoned Jeep Compass has been sitting on a rocky beach in the Seola/Arroyos area since mid-April ( here’s our first report ). By the time of our first check-up a few days later, local, state, and federal authorities were on the scene, and the owner of the SUV belatedly reported it stolen. The state had drained the fuel from the tank. But no one, we were told, could figure out how to get it off the beach—it was clearly in the wrong place to be removed by land or sea.

(This photo and the next ones are from Robin)

We checked again in mid-May. At that time, a resident of the area Robin she’s been following up on the situation and trying to figure out who could do something about it. She’s still looking into it; she says she’s even spoken to the property owner, who was out when it happened and is frustrated, too, she says. But nothing has changed, and as her photos show, the car continues to fall apart as water pours in and out. Pieces of it are strewn across the beach.

We thought that an environmental group focused on the sea might have an advantage in terms of liability. That investigation was a fiasco. We then turned to the state, whose Department of Natural Resources has Marine Litter Removal Program(We mentioned this five years ago when state Public Lands Commissioner Hilary Franz visited the team.) So we tracked down a DNRP spokesperson Michael Kellywho asked around and told us it might be a matter of “jurisdictional issues”:

Some of the issues we have with vessels may apply to this vehicle. DNR only has jurisdiction over state water areas (SOAL), and not all tidal areas are in SOAL. Cities and counties have jurisdiction where we do not, but may not have ordinances that allow them to remove private property from private property. Another issue is funding, we can only remove a vessel if we have the funds to do so.

A private property owner can have their local code enforcement department complete a junk vehicle affidavit to gain the legal right to remove the vehicle, but this will come at a cost to the property owner.

However, as a concerned citizen, he had one piece of advice for Robin – to file a report of “large debris” through the agency. MyCoast app.

She’s already tried the city Find it, fix it system — which didn’t go anywhere because it wasn’t on a public beach — so now it’s trying that, too. Robin told us in one exchange: “The car’s falling apart, and I’m sure a few things just washed into the Sound. They’ll either wash up further north from here or some poor creature will get killed or maimed by it. It’s a tragedy on so many levels.”

By meerna

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