Hundreds in Jefferson County debate gravel expansion application

PORT TOWNSEND — Nearly 400 people packed a Jefferson County Fairgrounds building Thursday to debate Fred Hill Materials Inc.’s application for a gravel mining overlay designation on 690 acres near Shine.

An aisle between chairs in the spacious Oscar Erickson Building drew a symbolic line between supporters and opponents on opposite sides of the room.

Representatives from Fred Hill and the group challenging the designation, Hood Canal Coalition, each made 12½-minute presentations on the designation.

Quips of disapproval and sarcastic laughter made their way down the aisles during the presentations. Enthusiastic applause echoed from the opposite side of the room.

County Commissioners Richard Wojt, D-Port Townsend, Dan Titterness, R-Port Townsend, and Glen Huntingford, R-Chimacum, sat on a stage with county aides listening to the arguments.

The commissioners will make a decision on the overlay application later this month.

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