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Ames Lake Community Club vs. the State of Washington, 1966

Updated: Apr 29, 2022

The Washington Supreme Court permanently ordered the state from permitting public access to Ames Lake and its property. The contention was that the state was restricted from using that property for other than residential purposes.

The Plat of Ames Lake, an addition to King County, Washington, included the lake and all the property immediately adjacent to it. The lake itself was Lot A, and around it were Lots 159 inclusive.

Interspersed at intervals among these lots were Lots B, C, D, and E, which also abutted the lake. They were not to be sold, as they gave the owners of lots who had no convenient lake frontage access to the lake at various points.

Lots 160 to 279 inclusive made a second tier of lots, which were separated from the waterfront lots by a 60-foot roadway, designated “Scenic Blvd.,” which went entirely around the lake.

The Plat contained the following statement: As shown on the Plat Lots designated as “A” which is Ames Lake, and B, C, D, and E, are the undivided and common property of the owners of all Lots in this Plat. The development, maintenance, and upkeep of A, B, C, D, and E are a joint obligation of said lot owners and subject to such rules and regulations governing same.

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