Aberdeen officials will consider closing public access to the river street property at the request of Mayor Erik Larson. Larson said in a press release that he has asked the council to consider whether life safety, public safety and public welfare concerns at the City-owned River Street property warrant closing the site to public access and use.
The River Street property is located in an industrial area between the Chehalis River and the Poyner Rail Yard. The property does not have any utility services, has very limited accessibility for public safety response, and is not zoned for residential use, nor does it have any structures which meet building or construction codes.
Last May, there was a pedestrian-rail accident that resulted in a woman losing both her legs. Despite heavy rail traffic in this area, people continue to walk across the tracks. The City has received reports from the rail company that the tracks have been damaged by access to the River Street property, which could potentially lead to derailments – a serious concern to public safety because of hazardous cargo the railroads handle.
The Mayor has asked City Council to consider these life safety, public safety and public welfare concerns and whether the City should formally close the property to the public. The City will introduce for first reading, a proposed Ordinance to permanently closes the property to public access, effectively declaring this property as unsuitable for future habitation given its current conditions.
If the City Council passes the first reading of the Ordinance, a public hearing will be at the second reading on April 24, 2019.