Neighbors concerned over trespassers on land owned by Lewis County


While the roughly 2-acre piece of property sat vacant Tuesday afternoon, April 9, a collection of residents told the Lewis County commissioners that morning that a piece of county-owned land at the Centralia Alpha Road and North Fork Road intersection has become a nuisance to neighbors.

“We truly have a problem, and we need to work out a solution to this situation,” resident Martin Roy said. “We believe it’s time for the county to look at solutions that will help us help ourselves.”

At the April 9 commissioners meeting, roughly a half dozen neighbors voiced their frustration, saying the county has not taken enough action to prevent trespassers. The problem, they said, has only gotten worse in recent years.

During warmer months, they said, the land attracts leisure seekers looking to access the Newaukum River, which results in increased noise and trash.

“It’s become a very big problem for us,” said Sherri Myers, who lives across the river from the property. “We see first hand, and hear first hand, what goes on over there. And it’s gotten to the point where almost daily, year-round, there are people trespassing on that property.”

According to Myers, she has found garbage and other debris on her property from trespassers. During the summer months, Myers said the property becomes a hotbed for fireworks. On the Fourth of July, Myers reported finding a large pile of detonated fireworks.

The garbage and trespassers, she said, have deterred her from bringing her grandchildren to swim in the river.

“We don’t feel that it’s safe for them to be there,” Myers said. “We don’t know what we’ll find.”

Another neighbor claimed that their property across the street was broken into multiple times.

“It’s getting worse and worse and worse,” she said.

The neighbor voiced concern over the damage to fish habitat that the swimmers and other water recreationists could have.

Matt Stevens, who said he’s lived in the area for about four years, said the property is not frequented by county employees.

“It’s pretty much just an open invite for everybody to come, and obviously they trespass,” Stevens said. “A lot of them are respectful, but they do not follow the no trespassing.”

According to Stevens, those who use the county land also trespass onto other neighboring properties.

The commissioners will meet for their regular meeting at 10 a.m. Tuesday, April 16, at the Lewis County Courthouse in Chehalis.