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Port nixes Trestle Beach 'no trespassing' sign

Photo Credit: JOHN HOWARD - A trash bin at Trestle Beach bears a 'No Trespassing' sign. Port of St. Helens officials took action Wednesday to remove the sign. Port commissioners are expected to vote on offically making the area a recreational site next week.

Port of St. Helens commissioners agreed during a special meeting Wednesday, Aug. 6, to remove a “no trespassing” sign from the entrance to Trestle Beach. The sign’s removal is likely a segue to the area becoming an official recreational spot.

Commissioners were expected to consider a request from West Oregon Wood Products for a subordination agreement, but when the request was withdrawn, they took up the Trestle Beach topic. The discussion wasn’t on the agenda, but recent citizen complaints and confusion over access to the riverfront area led the commission to take action on the port-owned property.

A “no trespassing” sign was reinstated recently after being removed by a construction crew, Patrick Trapp, executive director of the port, explained Wednesday.

Trapp said the sign was set out again after port staff noticed it had been moved.

“There was an accident at the entrance to Trestle Beach,” Trapp said. “When we went down to investigate, that’s when we realized the sign had been removed.”

The sign was attached to a garbage can and prominently displayed, leading residents to conclude the beach was being restricted to the public.

Many visitors disregarded the sign and continued to use the beach as normal.

Commissioners explained that while the port has always maintained an unspoken agreement to allow public use of the land, it’s been vandalized and a depot for litter recently, yielding citizen complaints.

Resident-submitted photos show empty botttles strewn around a fire pit.

Trapp also received reports of people jumping off a conveyor belt at the site.

Commissioner Chris Iverson said the beach area has been used recreationally for decades. He said he’d like to see the beach stay open to the public, so long as safety hazards and port liability are addressed.

Commission President Robert Keyser was not present but led the meeting by phone. The port’s attorney also phoned in, suggesting the commission consider adopting a resolution next week to make Trestle Beach a designated recreational area.

Commissioners are expected to vote on that at their next meeting.