Tideland boundary questions could be Pandora’s Box

When I first heard that Taylor Shellfish Farms had encroached on state-owned tidelands on Totten Inlet, I began to wonder if this was an isolated case or was happening all over Puget Sound.

After talking to a variety of people, I suspect that shellfish growers and shoreline property owners may be encroaching on state lands and each others’ property in many places. One observer said the problem may be less in some northern areas of Puget Sound, where stakes on the beach are easily seen as demarcation lines.

I started to explore this issue in a story in today’s Kitsap Sun. I assure you it won’t be the last.

We could be opening Pandora’s Box, in which property boundary encroachments are revealed by expensive surveys. That could lead to expensive legal battles over who gets to claim what. It’s a rather chilling prospect, but who knows how much potential revenue the state may be missing.

Meanwhile, the state is not subject to adverse possession laws, yet private property owners are.

Some might say we should leave this alone, but I do not subscribe to the idea that ignorance is bliss.

3 thoughts on “Tideland boundary questions could be Pandora’s Box

  1. Pandora’s Box is something that should be opened carefully and deliberately, because it is ripe with potential for a large mess.

    Without due care, the real victims will be shellfish farmers, shoreline owners and the state; while the winners will be the surveyors and lawyers.

  2. “…Without due care, the real victims will be shellfish farmers, shoreline owners and the state…”

    I hope not.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Before you post, please complete the prompt below.

Please enter the word MILK here: