Judge’s ruling expected soon Arguments in court over French Creek Road last week boiled down to one basic issue: How does a road officially become a county road? And, if it is a county road, what’s the process for privatizing it? Okanogan County Superior Court Judge Henry Rawson heard oral arguments on Dec. 4 about […]
Gamble Land and Timber
County supports public access to French Creek Rd.
Takes definitive position in the ongoing legal dispute After more than two years of sitting on the sidelines — simply willing to abide by whatever the court decides in an ongoing legal dispute — Okanogan County is defending the public status of French Creek Road. The reversal came in a 2-to-1 vote last Tuesday (Oct. 22) when Okanogan County […]
Lawyers hash it out over locked gates, road access
The Okanogan Open Roads Coalition wants Okanogan County to compel private property owners to remove three gates the coalition says threaten public safety because the gates block escape routes.
Property owners Gamble Land and Timber and Cascade Holdings Group say the …
French Creek Road access dispute apparently will proceed to trial
County judge hears persuasive evidence from both sides By Marcy Stamper It will require more fact-finding to determine whether a 3-mile segment of French Creek Road has always been a public road or has been used by the public only by permission of adjacent property owners, Okanogan County Superior Court Judge Henry Rawson concluded last […]
Okanogan County looks at compensation process for vacated roads
When county roads are closed at the request of a property owner, the county code sets out ways for the county to be compensated for the value of the road.
But the Okanogan County code, which lists three categories of roads and multiples scenarios for …
Legal arguments continue in dispute over primitive road access
It was standing-room-only in Okanogan County Superior Court last week for oral arguments over the ownership of a primitive road in the lower Methow Valley. A 3-mile stretch of road on French Creek outside the town…
Battle over rural roads will have court hearing
To people accustomed to traveling on the main highways of Okanogan County, roads to upper Texas Creek, French Creek, Brewster and the Chiliwist can seem far apart.
But these areas are actually all connected via old back roads that span the hills between the Methow …
Gate blocking Three Devils Road vandalized
A gate closing Three Devils Road to the public was vandalized a week after it was installed, after a court decision ended public access to the road. Jon Wyss, a member of the Gebbers Family, reported damage to the gate and theft of a sign to Okanogan County Sheriff’s Deputy Jodie Barcus on Aug. 11. […]
Three Devils Road closed after high court declines to hear appeal from challengers
The Washington State Supreme Court has denied a request to review a challenge to the closure of Three Devils Road, ending the lawsuit and allowing 3 miles of the remote road to be gated. The gated section traverses land owned by Gamble Land and Timber, which petitioned Okanogan County in 2015 to vacate the road to protect its adjacent property …
French Creek Road … or ‘Private Access Road’? Court to decide
By Marcy Stamper A struggle over a 7.6-mile stretch of French Creek Road hinges on whether the fact that the road has been consistently used since the early 20th century makes it a public road, or whether the fact that adjoining property owners have gated the road — preventing others from traveling on it — means that it belongs […]