Roughly 40 Port Ludlow residents picketed outside the Cove Cottages in Port Ludlow last Sunday to protest timber harvesting by Port Ludlow Associates in 2015. (Eric Herzog)

Roughly 40 Port Ludlow residents picketed outside the Cove Cottages in Port Ludlow last Sunday to protest timber harvesting by Port Ludlow Associates in 2015. (Eric Herzog)

Port Ludlow residents voice frustration over mediation between Jefferson County, Port Ludlow Associates

Timber harvests around the Port Ludlow Master Planned Resort are at the heart of the matter.

PORT LUDLOW — Residents of Port Ludlow continue to express their frustration over a perceived lack of progress in mediation between Jefferson County commissioners and Port Ludlow Associates over timber harvests around the Port Ludlow Master Planned Resort.

“The community is pretty much unhappy with the clearcut logging in the resort area,” said David Jarca, a member of the South Bay Community Association and one of the more outspoken community members. “People bought their homes under the slogan ‘a village in the woods by the bay.’ ”

Port Ludlow Associates (PLA) purchased the resort in 2001 and obtained permits from the state Department of Natural Resources to log roughly 140 acres in the south bay area.

However, in April 2015, the county gave PLA a stop-work order, deeming the logging illegal due to zoning restrictions.

PLA maintained it did nothing wrong, and in September 2015, the county and PLA began mediation.

“Not much has been happening, and the community is getting unhappy with how little progress is being made,” said Jarca. “Most people feel it’s time for the county to go to court and move forward.”

Community members have been vocal about their unhappiness: A small group picketed outside PLA’s current development, the Ludlow Cove Cottages, on Sunday.

“It’s not a very satisfactory situation,” said Jarca. “The appropriate thing to do is go to court and let a judge decide.”

Representatives from PLA couldn’t be reached for comment; however, County Commissioner David Sullivan said Wednesday he understands residents’ frustrations.

“Part of the conditions of the mediation is that it’s confidential,” said Sullivan. “As long as there’s progress and it’s in the best interest of the citizens, we’ll continue the mediation.”

Dan Needles, a former Port Ludlow resident who moved to Port Townsend over the summer, started a Change.org petition against the timber harvest in 2015. He said community members took issue with the logging because it was on the golf course and in a green buffer zone, creating an eyesore.

“Overall, what I see is the community doesn’t like it,” said Needles. “No one really likes the logging except the people who are making money from it. It’s ruining the kind of aesthetic that’s cultivated there.”

Needles also said the community hasn’t seen the money from the timber sales reinvested in the resort, though PLA has said previously it has been used on other projects for the Port Ludlow Master Planned Resort, such as the Cove Cottages.

However, residents continue to protest PLA with picket signs, online petitions and threats to boycott resort restaurants. The county maintains they will continue mediation.

“We feel there’s still hope for progress and an eventual resolution,” said Sullivan.

________

Jefferson County Editor/Reporter Cydney McFarland can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 55052, or at cmcfarland@peninsuladailynews.com.

Port Ludlow residents picket outside the Cove Cottages in Port Ludlow last Sunday. (Eric Herzog)

Port Ludlow residents picket outside the Cove Cottages in Port Ludlow last Sunday. (Eric Herzog)

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