No-shooting zone proposal cut in half

PARADISE BAY — Jefferson County commissioners are expected to schedule a hearing within the next three weeks on a proposed no-shooting zone that is less than half the size of that originally intended for the Paradise Bay area.

A seven-member committee unanimously voted to recommend to the three county commissioners that the southern boundary of the Teal Lake no-shooting zone be at Andy Cooper Road.

From there, the zone would follow the contour of Paradise Bay Road east and north, adjoining the existing no-shooting zone in Port Ludlow on its eastern boundary, and continue south on Teal Lake Road to form the western boundary, connecting back to Andy Cooper Road.

The originally proposed zone was more than double that size.

Its boundaries were the same, except that the southern boundary extended all the way south to state Highway 104.

Committee chairman Henry Werch recommended that the county include adequate signage.

A gravel pit south of Andy Cooper Road commonly used for recreational shooting was not included in the recommendation but is considered an area of concern.

“It’s going to be a tough call,” Jefferson County Commissioner John Austin, D-Port Ludlow, said .

Most of those who objected to the original no-shooting zone live in the southeast sector of the zone, south of Paradise Bay Estates, where five-acre parcels are predominant, said Karen Barrows, assistant planner in long-range planning.

“People in this area have private shooting ranges on their property,” which are not near schools, meeting halls, churches or community centers, said a petition signed by 32 residents in the area and presented to the county commissioners in April 2006.

The committee was not charged with recommending no-shooting zones based on the nuisance of noise, only the likely threat or danger of errant bullets coming in contact with people, pets or property.

The committee had two petitions to guide their recommendation: one of residents who want to be included and one signed by those who don’t want to be included.

The petition supporting a no-shooting zone contained 30 signatures of Paradise Bay-area residents.

That petition was turned into the county commissioners in spring 2006 and prompted the commissioners to amend the county’s no-shooting zone ordinance.

The major changes the county commissioners made were giving themselves the authority to create or dissolve a no-shooting zone, which they previously didn’t have, and the ability to form a committee to analyze proposed no-shooting zones.

A proposal to create a no-shooting zone in the Tri-Area on either side of Chimacum Creek has also been turned in, and the county commissioners will consider that next.

There are currently eight no-shooting zones in the county.

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