A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

New warning signs on the Clark Path

Written December 14th, 2018 by Hasso Hering

With the riverside foliage gone, the Dave Clark Path offers a good view of the Willamette River.

New signs have sprouted along a segment of Albany’s Dave Clark Path, opening the possibility that people could be cited for trespassing if they camp on the riverbank below.

The signs went up this week where the path runs along the Edgewater Village subdivision. The question of citing unwanted campers came up during a Nov. 5 city council meeting.

The steeply sloping bank below the path, down to the high water line, belongs to the Edgewater property owners. The developers had offered the bank to the city as a gift, but the council declined.

If the bank was public property, city authorities under a recent federal court ruling (in Idaho) probably could not bar people from sleeping there. But private landowners could prohibit trespassing, and if they saw anybody there they could call the cops.

And that, I presume, is why the no-trespassing sign are now in place. The city didn’t put them up, and neither did an Edgewater homeowner who in September organized a meeting with city officials about the messes left by unauthorized campers below the path. Which leaves the Edgewater developers or homeowners’ association as the likely party.

Whether anybody actually gets cited into court, I have my doubts. In fall and winter, with the foliage gone, you have a pretty good view of the bank and the river. I haven’t seen anybody down there on recent rides. And in summer, it’s hard to see anybody through the leaves on the thickly wooded bank. (hh)

One of the new signs on the river side of the Dave Clark Path.

11 responses to “New warning signs on the Clark Path”

  1. James Engel says:

    Reminds me of that song long ago…”Signs, Signs, Everywhere Signs…” I think it goes. Why doesn’t the city open it’s vast lobby to a warning center?? There is a large entry way outside the front lobby that could make a comfy apron for those down & out souls to camp on! Show us an shining example City Council!!??

    • Avid Reader 1 says:

      They can’t do that because the city, with all their “compassion,” has barred homeless people from downtown.

      • Ray Kopczynski says:

        Pure BS & you know it!

        • Avid Reader 1 says:

          Oh, you know it all, I see, including what other people think. The new rule making it possible for homeless people in the downtown area to be questioned by police just for being there is meant to keep them out of the area, “and you know it”… to repeat your phrase.

          • Hasso Hering says:

            There is no such rule.

          • Avid Reader 1 says:

            Rule is the wrong designation. Sorry. You know what I’m talking about Hasso…it is the new zone downtown where people who appear to not belong there, per the gentrification/CARA type authorities, can be stopped and questioned, and I think made to leave if they have more than one citation for loitering (and I’m sure for other things) in a certain period of time.

          • Hasso Hering says:

            You seem to be referring to the “enhanced law enforcement area” enacted by the city council in 2018. It does not refer to people being “stopped and questioned.” Instead, it says that if someone is convicted — convicted — of three offenses within the specified area over six months, the municipal court may bar that person from the area for up to a year, except to visit necessary services. Sleeping on public property no longer qualifies as one of the offenses that count against the three crimes or violations that can trigger the court’s exclusion order.

  2. Bob says:

    The home owners may be able to prohibit people from “trespassing” from the Clark Path down the river bank, but I think it is legal for anyone to access the river bank from the river below. Read the following excerpt from the Oregon Dept of State Lands brochure regarding: Public Use of Oregon’s Rivers and Lakes…

    “You may use any navigable waterway, as well as the submerged and submersible land along it, for any legal activity. For example, you may pull your canoe or kayak up on the land below the line of ordinary high water for a short period of time. Similarly, below the line of ordinary high water, you may picnic, walk, fish, play or sunbathe on the land.

    However, you are not allowed to go above the line of ordinary high water, unless it is necessary to travel up or down the waterway, nor may you cross privately owned land to get to the river or lake. To do so constitutes a trespass for which law enforcement
    officers may cite you.

    In addition, you are not allowed to use the land in a way that you would if you owned it. That is, you cannot build a structure, place a dock, operate a business, put up fencing or prevent other people from entering the area you are using on submerged or submersible land.”


  3. Rolland says:

    Assuming the Developer put up the signs they should follow the Trespass Letter of Consent as outlined on the Citynof Albany website…https://www.cityofalbany.net/131-police/825-trespass-letter-of-consent

    It gives permission for the Police to act as needed with trespassers

  4. Donna Clem says:

    We have been putting up with people coming on our farm along the river since 1974 – – they throw everything from old tires, couches, garbage in bags, and everything else.
    The people who lease my land have to clean up the CRAP before they can do their farming.

  5. Avid Reader 1 says:

    Hasso, Thank you for the explanation of the current state of the “enhanced law enforcement area” downtown. I didn’t know that it had been modified so that sleeping on public property was not one of the three offenses that can cause a person to be barred from downtown for a year. Or, maybe it was always that way; I don’t know. It seems to me that you did know what I was taking about, even though I erroneously called it a “rule,” rather than the “enhanced enforcement area ‘act’ ” or whatever triggers the courts to cite a person regarding this area act. Wow, that is a mouthful. How vague can one rule (there’s that word again) get?


HH Today: A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley
Albany Albany Carousel Albany City Council Albany council Albany downtown Albany Fire Department Albany housing Albany parks Albany Planning Commission Albany police Albany Post Office Albany Public Works Albany riverfront Albany Station Albany streets Albany traffic Albany urban renewal Andy Olson Benton County Benton County parks bicycling bike lanes Bowman Park Bryant Park Calapooia River CARA City of Albany climate change coronavirus COVID-19 Cox Creek path Crocker Lane cumberland church cycling Dave Clark Path DEQ downtown Albany Edgewater Village global warming gun control Highway 20 Interstate 5 Kitzhaber Linn County marijuana medical marijuana Millersburg North Albany Road Obama ODOT Oregon coast Oregon legislature Oregon passenger rail Pacific Power Portland & Western Republic Services Riverside Drive Santiam Canal Talking Water Gardens The Banks Tom Cordier Union Pacific urban renewal Water Avenue Willamette River

Copyright 2020. All Rights Reserved. Hasso Hering.
Website Serviced by Santiam Communications
Hasso Hering