County considers no-shooting zones in Ocean Grove

Kirk Boxleitner kboxleitner@ptleader.com
Posted 4/18/17

Jefferson County is giving the public a chance to weigh in on the possible establishment of two no-shooting zones in the Ocean Grove neighborhood, east of Beckett Point, at 10 a.m., Monday, May …

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County considers no-shooting zones in Ocean Grove

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Jefferson County is giving the public a chance to weigh in on the possible establishment of two no-shooting zones in the Ocean Grove neighborhood, east of Beckett Point, at 10 a.m., Monday, May 22.

The Jefferson County Board of Commissioners approved that meeting date during its April 17 meeting, following public comments both in favor of and against the proposed measure.

“No one knows that Ocean Grove exists,” Dan Nasman, manager of the Ocean Grove Association, said, laughing. “We’re made up of about 80 homes. We were platted in 1965, and we’re about 75 percent built out now. We’re an otherwise very quiet neighborhood.”

Shooting became an issue in Ocean Grove when a new resident did some target shooting on his property in 2014, and the county sheriff was called in response, Nasman said.

“At least 65 percent of our homeowners signed a petition to designate our neighborhood a no-shooting zone,” Nasman said. “To qualify to sign, you had to be an owner who lived in Ocean Grove and were registered in that precinct, so that percentage was pretty good. Only two people refused to sign, I think.”

The petition was originally submitted to the county in 2015, so Nasman is pleased to see it finally moving forward.

“I told the county, ‘I’m a patient man, but it’s wearing thin,’” said Nasman, who nonetheless credited County Administrator Philip Morley with continuing to correspond with him about the issue, even during Nasman’s recent trip to California.

While Nasman sees Ocean Grove as too densely populated a residential neighborhood for shooting to be safe, either for people or errant deer, fellow Ocean Grove resident Howard Andreasen spoke out against a no-shooting zone during the April 17 meeting.

“We have coyotes in this area,” Andreasen said. “They run right up and down the middle of the street. Our neighborhood has lost three cats. I’m worried about the little children as well.”

Andreasen sees the no-shooting zone proposal as a political move rather than one motivated by necessity.

“It’s a trumped-up bad joke,” Andreasen said. “It’s nothing more than a power grab, that the association is hoping to turn into a gun ban.”

Nasman countered this claim by noting the exemptions in such ordinances that allow residents to fire weapons to protect their families and stock.

When the county commissioners convene the May 22 public hearing in their chambers, Nasman would expect the majority of attendees from Ocean Grove to express their support for the proposed measure.

The Ocean Grove Association’s petition would, if approved, establish no-shooting areas in the plats of Ocean Grove Estates, Ocean Grove No. 2 and Ocean Grove No. 3.

The county has established 10 no-shooting zones since first codifying a process by which to do so in April 2007. The last zones were established in 2014, covering the Tala Shore and Tala Point neighborhoods, east of Port Ludlow, as well as expanding the South Coyle Peninsula no-shooting area.

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