The Ocean Grove Homeowners Association successfully petitioned for no-shooting zones for several neighborhoods along Cape George Road outside of Port Townsend, seen here. (Cydney McFarland/Peninsula Daily News)

The Ocean Grove Homeowners Association successfully petitioned for no-shooting zones for several neighborhoods along Cape George Road outside of Port Townsend, seen here. (Cydney McFarland/Peninsula Daily News)

Jefferson commissioners approve no-shooting areas near Port Townsend

PORT TOWNSEND — Jefferson County commissioners have unanimously approved two no-shooting areas in the Ocean Grove area east of Beckett Point.

The decision came after a public hearing Monday during the commissioners’ weekly meeting.

The two areas are established around three neighborhoods along Cape George Road: Ocean Grove Estates, Ocean Grove No. 2 and Ocean Grove No. 3, which are all located in voting precinct No. 105 southeast of Port Townsend.

The larger no-shooting zone is bound by Kruse Street to the west, Huntingford Street to the north and Discovery Crest Place to the south. The southern end of the zone extends down to the water, encompassing a 20-acre green belt owned by the local homeowners association, which was set aside for hiking.

The larger area also extends down Cape George Road less than a mile past the intersection with Myrtle Street.

The smaller area is further north, along Beckett Point Road and the homes surrounding Ellie and Hillcrest streets.

A map of both areas is available on the Jefferson County commissioners website at http://www.co.jefferson.wa.us/commissioners/.

Homeowners in the Ocean Grove neighborhoods requested the no-shooting areas by submitting a petition in April 2015.

While there were enough signatures to establish the larger no-shooting area, the smaller lacked a sufficient number of voters, so the issue had to be brought to the county, according to County Administrator Phillip Morley.

State law allows county commissioners to establish no-shooting zones if there is sufficient concern that humans, animals or property damage could occur. The county cannot grant a no-shooting zone based on noise complaints alone, according to Morley.

Dan Nasman, the manager of the Ocean Grove Homeowners Association and the organizer of the original petition, said the Ocean Grove neighborhoods have been built up enough that shooting in the area is unsafe.

Nasman did specify that the zones would only ban recreational shooting, such as hunting or target practice, within the areas. There is no ban on owning a gun or using one for home or self defense.

“I just find it extremely alarming to hear gunshots so close to my home,” said Alice Lane, a resident of the Ocean Grove neighborhood. “It’s frightening and seems so unnecessary to have that kind of disruption near our homes.”

According to a Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office study requested by the county commissioners, there were six calls to the Sheriff’s Office about gunfire in the past three years in and around the Ocean Grove neighborhood.

“My home is just right next to the woods. I don’t know who owns that property, but I hear shots all the time and I don’t know where they are coming from,” said Arlene Sudol, also a resident of Ocean Grove. “It makes me uncomfortable and I don’t feel safe.”

According to commissioner Kate Dean, the vast majority of public comment the commissioners received was in favor of the no-shooting zones.

However, there were those who disagreed.

“There’s no reason for it,” said Howard Andreasen during Monday’s meeting. “Whatever happened in the past is not happening and never will again. This is really a whole lot ado about nothing.”

Andreasen was concerned that the no-shooting zone borders land owned by the Department of Natural Resources and is a popular place to hunt during hunting season.

According to Commissioner David Sullivan, because the no-shooting zones simply ban the use of firearms for recreation within the zones and does not ban gun noise, there should be no affect on hunters using the DNR land.

“This isn’t going to solve every problem,” Sullivan said. “This is narrow and focused and it’s focused on public safety. We have an area that is quite concentrated and it would make sense to not allow shooting in that area.”

________

Jefferson County Editor/Reporter Cydney McFarland can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 55052, or at [email protected].

More in News

Registration deadline for Seventy48 race Thursday

Event to run from Tacoma to Port Townsend in June

Peninsula virus cases hit plateau

Health officers still urge caution

Jefferson County looking into leash law

Animal control code may be updated

After a long winter, kinetic sculptor Colin Bartle brings his machines out into the Port Townsend sunlight on Sunday. He’s among the builders hoping to join October’s Great Port Townsend Bay Kinetic Sculpture Race. (Diane Urbani de la Paz/Peninsula Daily News)
Kinetic sculpture planning is on for October

Parade, water and land races expected this fall

IRS amends taxes on unemployment insurance

The Internal Revenue Service has announced that, beginning in May,… Continue reading

Permit delays Serenity House expansion

City requiring additional bathrooms

This illustration, created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses. Note the spikes that adorn the outer surface of the virus, which impart the look of a corona surrounding the virion, when viewed electron microscopically. A novel coronavirus, named Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), was identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China in 2019. The illness caused by this virus has been named coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
WHAT WE KNOW: Coronavirus outbreak at a glance

The latest news on the pandemic, plus symptom information and prevention tips

Three counties face tighter coronavirus restrictions

The Associated Press Three counties will move back to more strict coronavirus… Continue reading

Most Read