Idea for Dungeness' 3 Crabs area to be unveiled this week
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Plans to restore the land around the old 3 Crabs restaurant building at Dungeness will be discussed in a meeting led by the North Olympic Salmon Coalition on Wednesday. -- Photo by Joe Smillie/Peninsula Daily News

By Joe Smillie
Peninsula Daily News

DUNGENESS –– A plan to remove the building that once housed the 3 Crabs restaurant and replace it with a public beach will be unveiled to neighboring landowners by the North Olympic Salmon Coalition this week.

The meeting will take place at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Old Dungeness Schoolhouse, 2781 Towne Road.

The coalition, a private nonprofit, received a $200,000 grant from the state Recreation and Conservation Office last month to engineer a plan to remove the building and rework the county road that currently dead-ends at the beach into a parking area.

The state Department of Fish and Wildlife purchased 52 acres, including the former restaurant building, from one of the restaurant's owners for $1 million in October, shortly after the restaurant was closed.

Jamie Michel, salmon coalition program manager, said representatives will discuss the details of the proposal with residents from the areas of 3 Crabs and Golden Sands at Wednesday's meeting and fold their input into the rehabilitation plan.

“We feel that as residents directly adjacent to the project that they should be involved at the ground level,” Michel said Friday, adding that the coalition expects to hire an engineer for the design work, he said.

The overall plan is to remove the building, portions of Sequim-Dungeness Way and armoring at the site to restore habitat in the Dungeness River and Meadowbrook Creek estuaries and to provide a public beach.

Sequim-Dungeness Way connects the area with Dungeness Village.

The road continues to the shore past the turn-off for the county's 3 Crabs Way.

The preliminary version of the plan calls for the road to be cut off at the 3 Crabs Way intersection, with the rest removed and replaced with native habitat and a parking area for the beach.

Along with a makeover of more than 40 acres of the coastline, the project looks to restore a half-mile of the Meadowbrook Creek channel.

Kyle Guzlas with Fish and Wildlife said the estuaries are key habitat for Dungeness River salmon.

Tara Galuska, project manager for the recreation and conservation office, said the funding was approved from a share of statewide salmon recovery funds set aside by the legislature in the state's capital budget.

Owner Norma Marshall closed the restaurant after Labor Day of last year.

3 Crabs Restaurant has been there since 1958, with Marshall as owner since 1983.

Guzlas said the community has been supportive of replacing the defunct restaurant building with a public access point since the state purchased the property.

“I've got nothing but positive feedback from the residents of the area,” Guzlas said.

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Sequim-Dungeness Valley Editor Joe Smillie can be reached at 360-681-2390, ext. 5052, or at jsmillie@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: June 09. 2013 6:15PM
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