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County to condemn Dungeness pier





It may be time to say goodbye to the old Oyster House at Clallam County’s Dungeness Landing Park.

The County Parks Department staff advised county commissioners May 5 that the pier and structure on top of the pier at the park are in extremely poor condition, enough to condemn their use.

The county hired Craig Owen as a consulting structural engineer to study the wooden and concrete structure just west of Cline Spit facing the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

“This building and dock supporting it are not safe. They should be abandoned and demolished, or perhaps for permitting processes it should be ‘repaired,’” Owen’s report to the commissioners read. “The most cost-effective ‘repair’ is to remove it and replace it with a pressure-treated timber dock structure or one of precast concrete.”

Commissioners Mike Chapman and Mike Doherty agreed with the assessment, stating there were two points to contend with regarding the pier, condemning its use and a possible replacement. Commissioner Steve Tharinger was absent from the meeting.



Condemned

Using Owen’s analysis of the structure, the county building department could condemn the structure very soon, possibly within days or weeks. However, there is a tenant at the Oyster House.

“Since we first did repairs on the pier a few years back, we have been trying to renegotiate a lease for the building,” said Joel Winborn with the parks department.

“But the short of it is the tenant is not paying their rent in any way and the structure is unsafe for them to operate, creating a pretty big liability,” said Craig Jacobs, director of public works. “Plus, to keep a business in the structure would take a huge financial obligation to repair it and the pier that it sits on.”

The county took control of the Dungeness Landing Park in 2001 from the Port of Port Angeles. The Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe operated a business within the Oyster House until 2005, when it sold the business to D&D Seafood, the current tenant.



Repairs

Owen’s report on the pier stated repairs on the existing materials would be costly, probably even more expensive than tearing down the entire structure and replacing it with new materials.

“New construction can be less expensive than remodeled construction as it can be accurately planned, for material and labor, ahead of time and the flow of construction is not interfered with by what is found during demolition,” the report reads. “The estimated cost of removal of the existing dock and building is just under $110,000. The estimate for a new dock in pressure-treated timber is about $215,000.”

Chapman was very interested in having a discussion regarding the future of the site once the county is on top of making sure people are not occupying the building or walking on the pier.

“I want a thorough discussion as to the future of this spot for at least public access,” Chapman said. “But first thing’s first, we have to close it down because of the liability.”



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