News, Roy, Washington County

Washington County isn’t certain part of Harrington Road is legally a county road

Take a ride through Roy, located to the southeast of Banks, and this historic unincorporated farming community will reveal stunning views of farmland, rural homes, and the century-old St. Francis Catholic Church and a small private parochial school.

Keep going east and you’ll pass farm after farm until eventually you come to the intersection of NW Harrington Road and NW Kerkman Road. The pavement turns south toward Cornelius, while Harrington Road continues straight toward NW Milne Road as a gravel road maintained for the last century and a half by Washington County.

There’s a problem though: Washington County isn’t certain it actually owns this roughly three-quarters-of-a-mile portion of Harrington Road.

“The legal status of this portion of NW Harrington Road is uncertain given that the original County Road notes cannot be found,” a resolution expected to be voted on by the Washington County Board of Commissioners Tuesday morning reads.

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A report prepared by a surveyor notes that plenty of documents surrounding the road—deeds to adjoining properties, other surveys in the area, and notes for adjoining county roads—point to it being a county road, but that an actual record of the county’s right of way in the form of a survey or notes for Harrington Road from Kerkman Road to Milne Road can’t be found.

“This portion of NW Harrington Road is currently considered an unnumbered County Road,” a report read.

And so, a public hearing before the Washington County Board of Commissioners will be held Tuesday, June 13 to finally fix the fate of this gravel lane lost in legal limbo.

No known opposition to the plan exists, the county said. If adopted, the paperwork will designate this portion as County Road No. 3341.

A report recommended that the portion in question be recorded as a 40-foot wide right of way with no permanent structures located in the swath to be adopted as county right of way.

Documentation of the issue and surveys and maps can be viewed on the county’s meeting agenda (.pdf).

The Washington County Board of Commissioners meets Tuesday, June 13 starting at 10 a.m. in a hybrid virtual and in-person event.

Instructions to participate remotely can be found online; in-person attendance can be accomplished by traveling to the Charles D. Cameron Public Services Building Auditorium located at 155 N. First Ave., Suite 300, Hillsboro.

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Chas Hundley is the editor of the Banks Post and sister news publications the Gales Creek Journal and the Salmonberry Magazine. He grew up in Gales Creek and has a cat.

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