It’s the “Island Way” to wave at oncoming vehicles, pedestrians and bicycle riders. Here’s a little more about island culture.
People may think living on an island is a romantic idea with a laid-back lifestyle. It can be! Self sufficiency is key. The ferry fees and schedule can make living here expensive and inconvenient if you need mainland services regularly. However, if you can plan ahead a little and have the means, living on a little green island surrounded by sparkling water and snow-capped mountain views can be a relaxing bit of heaven on earth. We’re 20 minutes to Steilacoom, 30 to Tacoma, 45 to Olympia, 60 to Seattle (barring construction, accidents and bad weather). With no stop-lights, lots of deer, very little hustle or bustle, this moated community may be just what you’re looking for.
Anderson Island is unincorporated Pierce County with a year round population of about 2,000. A portion of the island is a homeowners association called the Riviera Community Club. Most of the properties listed are in the Riv. Within the Riv there are parks supported by members’ annual dues and a restaurant open to the public. Riviera home owners’ dues pay for Riv amenities and water from Lake Josephine Riviera Water Co. There is an associate Riv membership if one plays a lot of golf and doesn’t live in the Riv.
Camping: One question that comes up often is, “May I camp on my Riviera lot?” The answer is, “No.” There is a nice campground for Riviera members and their guests with hookups, septic disposal, tent areas, bathrooms with showers and covered picnic shelters. Please see the Riviera website for daily and monthly rates and reservations.
In addition there are also Anderson Island parks for everyone to use. We vote to tax ourselves to maintain and obtain island parks.
There are three lakes (stocked with bass and trout):
Lake Josephine—no gas motors allowed. Kayaks, canoes, sail and peddle power as well as electric motors are OK. This lake is completely within Riviera jurisdiction.
Lake Florence—gas motors are allowed. The southern edge is Riviera. The northern boasts an island park called the Old Swimmin’ Hole, a popular destination on hot summer days.
Pine Lake—children’s fishing only, stocked by the Riviera.
Surrounded by salt water, we love fishing and crabbing, too.
There is a nominal fee to use the boat launch at the Riv’s salt water marina. The docks are in place from about May 1 to October 1. Riv members may keep a boat moored on the dock at the marina for a limited time. There is moorage available to the public from Oro Bay Properties in Oro Bay for an annual fee. (OBP is not affiliated with Oro Bay Yacht Club.) Oro Bay is the home of Oro Bay Yacht Club and out-stations for Bremerton Yacht Club and Tacoma Yacht Club.
Pierce County Sheriff Deputies patrol at will. I am a member of the Volunteer Island Patrol. We have two vehicles and patrol at various times of day and night with no regular schedule. We are the “eyes and ears” of the PCSD. We are not armed and will not confront anyone. We take calls on a cell phone (253-970-5403) that is staffed 24/7. Islanders are encouraged to be aware, take down license plate numbers of suspicious vehicles prowling neighborhoods and let us know. Because we have a central phone, we can put pieces together from one neighborhood to another or more than one observation and come up with a pattern which we then call in to the PCSD. VIP also conducts house checks. If a home owner is going to be gone awhile, they execute an affidavit of access allowing us to trespass on their property. We go to the home regularly and walk around, noting anything obvious like broken windows or screens pried off. We then call the homeowner with the information.
What little crime we have tends to be domestic violence, burglary and vandalism. Islanders really keep their eyes open for their neighbors.