May 28th, 2020
Update on LCP status on Overnight Camping
There is obviously a great deal of interest in getting the park back to having overnight camping. Furthermore, there is a similar interest by members in knowing what is being done to make that happen.
The Board of Directors and park management share equally the desire to get the park back to normal and regret the terrible effect that the Covid-19 pandemic has had on the lives of our members and the use of the park.
Back when this began – none of us knew the full impact to our personal lives and our communities – or how long it would drag on. So, when the state issued its “Stay at home” orders – we did our part to comply. Closing the park was done to support and comply with that order. Then it was announced that private camping facilities were essential – primarily to ensure that long-term residents were not displaced. That order had vague references to not camping in an unsafe manner – not directly saying it was not allowed – and that in itself has caused a lot of confusion for the board and members as well.
Later, on May 5th the state opened up parks to day use and we followed that same week – with reasonable restrictions to maintain social distancing. There was a plan and a great deal of hope that overnight camping would soon follow – as defined in phase 2 of the state’s Safe Start strategy. Now that we know what metrics are being used to allow each county to advance to phase 2, it is clear that Snohomish County, in which LCP resides, is nowhere close to the necessary standard for allowing us to open up our park to include staying overnight. This realization was really unfortunate news as the Safe Start timeline had initially given the board hope for being able to announce overnight Camping by the end of May.
Many members have suggested that we never needed to close – that the state’s rules do not apply to us as a private camping club. And many have suggested that the board does not appear to be doing enough to get the park open. That last part is something we need to own because we have not shared a lot of the efforts going on behind the scenes to make sure that what we are doing is safe and legal.
Ever since the state Safe Start plan was announced, park management has been in frequent contact with other similar camping clubs and much information has been shared between them. Each have their own rules to follow and slightly different circumstances that makes it difficult to just follow each other’s lead. So additional efforts have been made to see what rules really apply to us and what, if anything, can be done to ensure that we are either in compliance with all the laws and state orders – or find a way to get a variance allowing us to be an exception to the rules.
Following many leads, we have called other camping clubs, public and private campgrounds and spoke with their management. What was discovered is that, despite statement on their websites that they have direct permission to be open, none actually have such a confirmation or variance to allow overnight camping to their members or the public. They have simply chosen to defy the order or interpret it in a way that suits their business interests.
Following due diligence, calls to the state by the board has confirmed that there is NO approved overnight camping in counties that are not already in phase 2 – and that this applies to ALL camping, public and private. After asking how other businesses are doing so legally, the response was that they are in violation and risk losing their business license. After much discussion, we were directed to a site where we could apply for a variance – stating our case for why we are a safe place to allow overnight recreation. This application was submitted on May 26th and we await a response from the state.
Meanwhile we have also asked for help from the Snohomish County Executive to be granted an exception to the restrictions. We have also requested a legal read from our lawyer on what our liabilities may be for proceeding with camping in spite of the state order. All of these requests are pending, and we will keep the members informed as new information comes in that may affect our ability to safely and legally reopen our camping season.
Some members have suggested that the board is not listening or does not care about the members. Your board can understand the desire to be open and how the members may see the board as the obstacle to getting what they (what we ALL) want. Please know that your elected board is not the enemy here. We are required by the bylaws to uphold the laws and regulations that govern the park. Risking fines, loss of our business license and further closure are not something your board is willing to do as it is not in the best interest of the park or its members. The board members are individually and collectively liable for violations of our bylaws and/or public laws – so we cannot just “do what we want” without some very serious consequences.
When we receive the response from the state, we will share it in a timely manner – along with the board’s decision on what we will do based on the context of the response. Please be as patient as you are able as we work through this within the constraints of the waiting to hear back from others.
LCP Board of Directors
Park Use: UPDATED May 18th, 2020
Lake Conner Park Members:
Greetings to you and your family. Thank you for your support, patience and understanding as we navigate the ever-changing landscape of the current Covid-19 situation.
By now, most of you know that the governor of Washington has extended the restrictions through May 31st. However, he has also rolled out a 4-phase plan to reopen the state to allow us all to get back to a more normal life – and that includes the use of our camping club.
The first of these phases begins this week with day-use of state parks – so we are taking our cue from the state and have created some temporary rules to allow for Day-Use of our park starting this Friday, May 8th.
The Board and Park management welcome you back and hope that we can all be so grateful to get to use our sites that we will be extra careful to ensure we stay on course for a more full opening as the state moves through it’s later phases that will include overnight camping and moderate social gathering.
Please carefully read the attached set of rules and restrictions. Share with all household members that may join you in the park as each will need to know and comply with every condition.
The expansion from the current 2-hour limit is being done on a trial basis. Just like the state phases where the governor said the following: “Access to parks for Day-use may be closed at any time if there is reason to believe unsafe conditions exist or social distancing practices are not being adhered to.”, we will likewise be carefully monitoring compliance to these new and all other existing rules of the park.
Please be reminded that visits over 3 hours count as a day used against your total (per our Conditional Use Permit) – it’s not something we can waive so please keep that in mind.
LCP Board of Directors
LCP Park Manager
LAKE CONNER PARK – TEMPORARY OPERATING RULES
UPDATED – Effective: May 18th, 2020 – Until further notice
MEMBER AGREEMENT: Receipt of this form and entry into the Park constitutes agreement by the member to all of the foregoing restrictions and consequences.
• Day-use ONLY from 9AM-7PM
o NO OVERNIGHT CAMPING
• No guests – members only – and their household family.
o Only those persons registered on the site certificate as an owner or co-owner and their immediate household. If multiple households, please comply with state guidelines on social distancing.
o No “Authorized users” – unless they are living in the same household as owner.
• Common areas are closed to ALL uses. No club houses, dock, playgrounds, dog park, etc.
• No park-provided septic service.
o Evergreen Septic Service is available to come to your site
o Purchase a Blue Boy black water caddy and use the park dump station next to the security building to empty your tank
• Select bath houses are open for day use. Locate the bath house closest to you
o All park showers will be closed – DO NOT USE.
• Use of motorized vehicles (golf carts, ATVs, personal vehicles) is allowed for moving around the park – driven by Adults Only (18+). Any and all passengers may only be those from the same campsite/household. Wave as you pass by but please do not stop to socialize with others.
• No park-organized activities.
• No pool use.
• No membership office access. Contact by phone or email only.
• No kitchen, food service or snack shack.
• No unattended children outside the member’s site at any time – No ATV or golf cart use.
• Campfires will be allowed but must be out cold by 6PM or when you leave, if sooner.
• Fishing is permitted. Please follow all fish and park boating rules. The dock area is closed.
• Roadways, trails and lake available for use with 6’ social distancing in place
• No gatherings of any kind are permitted beyond those members of a single household.
Please help us keep the park safe by following these Rules and all other posted Guidelines.
• Like our regular rules and other posted guidelines, there may be consequences for violations after a friendly warning – up to and including a fine or being asked to leave the park. Egregious violations may result in keycards being deactivated for those who refuse to comply.
o NOTE: Your understanding and cooperation with posted regulations is greatly appreciated so we don’t need to close or further restrict park use. The BOD & Park Manager will frequently review and adjust these rules as conditions warrant.
• Helping us to ensure safety and compliance will be occasional patrols from park staff and by designated Caretakers – primarily towards the end of each day to ensure fires are out and members have left the park. Please understand that they are here to help us so arguing or verbal abuse of any kind to any staff member or caretaker is not acceptable.
April 21st 2020
To Members, Staff and Volunteers of Lake Connor Park:
On behalf of the Board and Park Management we sincerely hope each of you and your families are well and healthy. Like us, you are likely following the news and the health guidelines set forth by the local, state and national authorities as they track to course of this ongoing pandemic. These are unusual and challenging times and, as such, we are compelled to continue to take unprecedented actions to protect our staff, volunteers, members, our community AND the investment we have each made in the long term success of the park we all love.
The decision to close the park remains in place for the immediate future – allowing only those with no other home in Washington state to remain – with restrictions and limited exposure to one another. We have listened to and understand the issues and interests many of you have expressed via social media, by email, phone calls and in person. We can especially relate the desire to enjoy your site in these challenging times. We ask for your continued understanding and patience as we all do our part to stay the course in ensuring that we help mitigate the impact of the virus and reduce the likelihood of restarting the spread by lifting the restrictions too soon.
Some members have questioned the decision to close the park or the need for all the restrictions. We understand most of the concerns and recognize that we may likely be criticized no matter what decisions we make. Please know that the staff – and board you elected to look after the park as well as the health & welfare of the members is doing what it feels is best to ensure that your treasured park will be viable and ready for us to enjoy for generations to come.
Member and staff safety are paramount to us. Currently, our staff is healthy and working. It could be disastrous for our staff to become infected and/or quarantined as we may end up without the critical employees to take care of business. Very little would be done to be ready for reopening. We only have a staff of approximately 20, so one infection has the potential to shut us down completely. We remain open for business with limited hours, resources, and staff but we are still able to continue with cleaning, planning and preparations for summer, projects, and maintenance work. As of now, none of that has changed.
Staff and volunteers are still working hard every day. In addition to keeping critical areas clean and sanitary, our maintenance staff and Caretakers are getting the park ready for summer so we can enjoy all the fun and enjoyment we each are so looking forward to. As we all know, there is lots to do and they are keeping busy doing as much as they can. Sales and office staff are open for business via e-mail, phone and through our website. Security maintains a constant watch on the park and, along with help from volunteers, have helped to keep our park and your personal property safe and looked after. There had been a few incidents early on involving some vandalism and attempted theft from an outsider, but these were handled swiftly and effectively.
At this time of the year, we have Snowbirds returning from all over the United States. Only those with nowhere else to live are being allowed back into their sites – with restrictions – as per the direction of the state’s governor. The park is not open for recreation – just as an essential residential service at this time.
Just to keep you informed – the ballots for the re-wire project have been secured and won’t be counted until the ban on social gathering is lifted enough to allow the Elections Committee to meet and follow the bylaws for validating the measure. While the rewire remains a critical part of our future, the circumstances around us at this time is causing that to not a priority right now.
At this time, we have no clear direction to share on when we will be open again. We will be closely monitoring the state and federal guidance as it applies to the recreational use of our park. It is likely that even once we open we may need to do so in phases – with some restrictions still in place to help ensure we are all safe and that the park is set up for success going forward. We will keep you posted.
Please, please, please, on behalf of the Board and Park Management, be safe, stay healthy and follow the guidelines by our state and local government. With good fortune we may soon be able to return to the life we all enjoy in our beautiful park. Thank you all for your help in keeping Lake Connor Park as ideal as we can for when we can all return.
Board of Directors
Lake Connor Park is a Premier Camping Club nestled in the foothills of the majestic Cascade Mountains 15 miles Northeast of Everett, Washington. We offer a unique alternative to the crazy world of Public Campgrounds. Here you have an exclusive membership to use an assigned site whenever you please, (limited to 180 days over a 12 month period,) and when you add in the first class amenities available, the experience will leave you very satisfied.
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Call our sales department for more details, take a tour of our park and all that it has to offer. Come and see what your missing out on. Lake Connor Park…Where memories are made!