to the rights of the State of Oregon and the public in the Oregon seashores as
established by prescription or otherwise; declaring and confirming such rights;
providing for the acquisition of additional seashore lands; and declaring an
Be It Enacted by the
People of the State of Oregon:
Section 1. The Legislative Assembly hereby
declares it is the public policy of the State of Oregon to forever preserve and
maintain the sovereignty of the state heretofore existing over the seashore and
ocean beaches of the state from the Columbia River on the North to the
Oregon-California line on the South so that the public may have the free and
uninterrupted use thereof.
Section 2. (1) The Legislative Assembly
recognizes that over the years the public has made frequent and uninterrupted
use of lands abutting, adjacent and contiguous to the public highways and state
recreation areas and recognizes, further, that where such use has been
sufficient to create easements in the public through dedication, prescription,
grant or otherwise, that it is in the public interest to protect and preserve
such public easements as a permanent part of Oregons recreational resources.
(2) Accordingly, the Legislative Assembly hereby
declares that all public rights and easements in those lands described in
subsection (1) of this section are confirmed and
declared vested exclusively in the State of Oregon and shall be held and
administered in the same manner as those lands described in OHS 274.070.
(3) The Legislative Assembly further declares that it
is in the public interest to acquire additional rights and to do whatever is
necessary to preserve and protect scenic and recreational use of Oregons
seashore and ocean beaches.
(4) No portion of those lands described in this
section or any interest either therein now or hereafter acquired by the State
of Oregon or any political subdivision thereof may be alienated except as
expressly provided by state law.
Section 3. The State Highway Commission, when necessary, shall
undertake appropriate court proceedings to protect, settle and confirm all such
public rights and easements in the State of Oregon.
Section 4. The State Highway Commission, in accordance with ORS
366.345, may acquire ownership or interests in such lands abutting, adjacent or
contiguous to the Oregon seashore and beaches as may be appropriate for
recreational purposes where such lands are held in
Section 5. (1) In order to promote the public health, safety and
welfare, to protect the state recreation areas recognized and declared by
section 2 of this Act and by ORS 274.070, to protect the safety of the public
using such areas, and to preserve values adjacent to and adjoining such areas,
the natural beauty of the seashore and the public recreational benefit derived therefrom, no person shall, except as provided by section 6
of this Act, erect, make or place any appurtenance, structure or improvement on
any property that is within the area along the Pacific Ocean located between
the extreme low tide and the elevation of 16 feet following natural topographic
contour lines. The position of the landward boundary line shall be interpolated
to follow natural topographic contour lines whenever interrupted by man-made structures. However,
in low-elevation areas, including but not limited to sand spits and marshes and
the mouth of streams, estuaries, rivers and creeks where the 16.00 foot contour
nearest the ocean, in plain view, does not substantially parallel the shore
line, the boundary line is 300 feet (but not in excess of the 16.00 foot
elevation) inland from the contour line nearest the ocean which describes the
5.7 foot elevation. However, at the mouths of streams,
estuaries, rivers and creeks in such low-elevation areas where the 5.7 foot
contour nearest the ocean does not substantially parallel the trend of the
shoreline, the 5.7 foot contour line is replaced, for measurement purposes, by
a straight line extending across the mouth from a point nearest the ocean on
the 5.7 foot contour and proceeding in a straight line to a similar point on
the opposite side. All elevations
and vertical measurements are referred to the United
States Coast and Geodetic Survey Sea-Level Datum of 1929 through the Pacific
Northwest Supplementary Adjustment of 1947.
(2) This section does not apply to structures,
including a 25-foot yard on all four sides of a single-family residence,
existing on May 1, 1967, or to publicly owned appurtenances, structures or
improvements made with the approval of the State Highway Engineer for the
safety or convenience of the public.
(3) This section and section 6 of this Act do not
apply to appurtenances, structures or improvements subject to easement or
license granted by the State Land Board under ORS 274.075 or to rule,
regulation or permit of or from the State Land Board under ORS 274.080.
6. (1) Any person
who desires a permit to erect, make or place an appurtenance, structure or
improvement on any property subject to section 5 of this Act shall apply in writing
to the State Highway Engineer, on a form and in a manner prescribed by the
engineer, stating the kind of and reason for the appurtenance, structure or
improvement. Upon receipt of an
application satisfactory to the engineer, the engineer shall cause notice of
the application to be posted at or near the location
of the proposed appurtenance, structure or improvement. At the next regular meeting of the State
Highway Commission held more than 10 days after receipt of the application, the
engineer shall announce the receipt of the application. The notice and announcement shall include the
name of the applicant, a description of the appurtenance, structure or
improvement and its proposed location and a statement of the time within which
any interested person may file a request with the engineer for a hearing on the
application. The State Highway Engineer shall give
notice of any application, hearing or decision to any person who files a
written request with him for such notice.
(2) Within 30 days after the date of the regular
meeting at which the engineer announces the receipt of a satisfactory
application, the applicant or any other interested person may file a written
request with the engineer for a hearing on the application. If such a request is filed,
the engineer shall set a time for a hearing to be held by the engineer or his
authorized representative. The engineer
shall cause notice of the hearing to be posted and
announced in the manner provided in subsection (1) of this section. The notice shall include the time and place
of the hearing.
(3) After the hearing on an application or, if a
hearing is not requested, after the time for requesting a hearing has expired,
the engineer shall grant the permit if approval would not be adverse to the
public interest in preserving the recreational and scenic resources. In acting on an application, the engineer
shall take into consideration the existing uses and structures and the future
recreational and scenic needs in the vicinity of the
proposed appurtenance, structure or improvement. If the engineer does not act on a
satisfactory application within 90 days after the date of receipt thereof or,
if a hearing is held thereon, within 60 days after the
date of the hearing, the application shall be considered denied.
(4) Any person is entitled to appeal to the circuit
court of the county where the property is located for a judicial review in
equity of the action or failure to act by the engineer under this section. Any appeal taken under this subsection shall be made within 60 days after the date of the action or
after the expiration of the period prescribed for action by the engineer under
subsection (3) of this section.
7. The State
Highway Commission is hereby authorized to police, protect and maintain
property that is subject to section 5 of this Act and property abutting,
adjacent and contiguous to those lands described by ORS 274.070 that is
available for public use, whether such right to use is obtained by
prescription, easement, state-ownership or by
permission of a private owner.
8. The owner or person in control of any property subject to a public
easement declared a state recreation area by section 2 of this Act or any
property subject to section 5 of this Act shall not be liable for any injury to
another person or damage to property of another resulting from a condition of
the property within the easement or within the area subject to section 5 of
this Act, unless the injury or damage results from a condition that he created
or that he knew or, in the exercise of reasonable care, should have known was
likely to cause injury to persons or damage to property.
9. (1) In any court proceedings involving prescriptive rights of the
public over property abutting, adjacent and contiguous to those lands described
in ORS 274.070, an instrument executed and filed as provided by subsection (2)
of this section shall be an act and declaration admissible as evidence of the
intent of the owner or person in control of property to exercise dominion and
control over his property.
(2) The declaration shall describe the property and
shall be signed and acknowledged as provided by ORS 93.410. It shall state that the public is granted
permission to use the property, or a specifically described portion of the
property, and that the public use may be for certain
purposes which shall also be described. The
declaration shall be filed in the office of the county
officer charged with the duty of filing and recording instruments or documents
affecting title to real property.
(3) The permission granted may be
revoked at any time by the grantor by a declaration revoking the
permission signed, acknowledged and filed as provided by subsection (2) of this
section. In any event, the permission
granted shall terminate upon the assignment, grant, devise or other transfer or
conveyance of the property or any interest therein by the owner or person in
control of the property.
(4) Failure of the owner or person in control of
property to execute and file the declaration as provided in subsection (2) of
this section shall not imply an intent to relinquish
dominion and control over his property.
10. Nothing in
this Act shall be construed to relinquish, impair or
limit the sovereign title or rights of the State of Oregon in the shores of the
Pacific Ocean as the same may exist before or after the effective date of this
11. The State
Highway Commission is directed to survey the land on the shore of the Pacific
Ocean from the Columbia River on the north to the Oregon and California state
line on the south for the purpose of locating the boundaries of the area zoned
by section 5 of this Act and also for the purpose of obtaining information and
material suitable for a re-evaluation and redefinition, if necessary, of such
boundaries so that the public rights and interests in the lands along the shore
of the Pacific Ocean shall be preserved. The commission shall complete the
survey and present its report to the Fifty-fifth Legislative Assembly.
12. For purposes
of assessment and ad valorem taxation, whenever real
property is held subject to a public easement declared
a state recreation area by section 2 of this Act, the true cash value of the
property shall be taken into consideration for the restricted use imposed on
the servient property by the easement.
13. Section 12 of
this Act is first operative on January 1, 1968.
14. If one of the
sections of this Act is declared unconstitutional, it
is the intent of the Legislative Assembly that the remaining provisions of this
Act remain in effect.
15. Sections 1 to
11 of this Act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public
peace, health and safety, an emergency is declared to
exist, and sections 1 to 11 of this Act shall take effect upon passage.
Approved by the Governor July 6, 1967.
Filed in the office of Secretary of State July 7,
of House Bill 1601 from Oregon Laws and
Resolutions: Enacted and Adopted by the Regular Session of the Fifty-fourth
Legislative Assembly Beginning January 9 and Ending June 14 1967. Salem, Oregon: Oregon