PORT TOWNSEND — The Jefferson Board of County Commissioners have approved the expansion of the no-shooting area in the southern part of Coyle.
The unanimous decision was made after a public hearing during the commissioners’ Monday morning meeting in the Jefferson County Courthouse.
The initial no-shooting area was created in 2002 and was expanded in 2014. Monday’s decision was made after south Coyle residents submitted a petition meeting the requisite 20 signatures this August asking for another expansion, commission documents said.
The expansion extends the northern border of the area to encompass the properties on the north side of East Go Onna Drive, between Coyle Road and before the road changes to Go Onna Road, the commission map showed.
The map of the zone and its addition can be viewed at tinyurl.com/PDN-CoyleNoShooting.
Implementation of a no-shooting area is not for noise purposes, the documents said.
According to Jefferson County Code Title 8.50.030, “It is unlawful for any person to discharge any firearm or to propel from any portion of Jefferson County any projectile discharged from any firearm across, in or into a no-shooting area established by Jefferson County.”
The area can be declared a no-shooting zone “where there is a reasonable likelyhood that humans, domestic animals or property may be jeopardized,” the documents said.
South Coyle resident Douglas Mekalsen provided comments in favor of the expansion, partly due to a bulldozer on his property reportedly being hit by a stray bullet.
“My bulldozer has been hit,” Mekalsen said. “I was outside working … I heard it hit.”
The petition was started by Steve Garner, who has lived in the neighborhood for 17 years and has had problems with a resident reportedly setting up a shooting range on property nearby.
“I used to shoot,” Garner said. “I stopped because I didn’t want to be the guy scaring everybody.
“Personally, I’m not anti-gun … I have no problem with people shooting for a few minutes, but for hours is unacceptable.”
It was due to the safety issues that residents were facing, such as the shooting on a small property and stray bullets striking equipment, that county Administrator Philip Morley recommended approving the extension to the commission.
“It is strictly an issue of safety and risk,” Morley said. “It is not about sound and harmony within a neighborhood.
“Especially hearing the issues of bullets coming off the parcels, this is right.”
Other areas in the county that have no-shooting zones include Port Ludlow, Chimacum Creek and Paradise Bay.
Maps of the general locations can be found at tinyurl.com/PDN-No-Shooting-Areas.
Jefferson County reporter Zach Jablonski can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 5, or at [email protected].