Proposed changes to the County’s ordinance regarding the discharge of firearms may at last put to rest a two-year effort by local residents to limit where firearms can be used over the waters surrounding our peninsula. A community meeting regarding the proposed ordinance will be held Tuesday, March 1, 7 to 9pm, in the Thurston County Courthouse Bldg 1, Room 152.
Note the date has been rescheduled to March 1st, due to inclement weather in the forecast.
The entire ordinance is available on the County’s web site (click here to download the PDF file). The portion of the ordinance which is probably most pertinent, to local residents, makes it unlawful for any person to discharge a firearm in these areas:
All those areas zoned Residential LAMIRD One Dwelling Unit Per Two Acres; and
All those areas zoned Residential LAMIRD One Dwelling Unit Per Acre; and
All those areas zoned Residential LAMIRD Two Dwelling Units Per Acre (all LAMIRD areas are marked in green, on the County’s map); and
All that portion of land and marine waters of Puget Sound lying 300 yards, waterward, from the ordinary high water line (marked in blue, on the map); and
That portion of Eld Inlet south of an east-west line starting from a Point 300 feet North of the Meander Line as it crosses the East Line of Section 31, Township 19, North Range 2 West, thence due Westerly across Eld Inlet to the Western Shoreline (marked in orange, on the map);
Click here to download a copy of the full-sized map of current and proposed limited shooting zones[PDF].
Local residents that wish to do so may send comments regarding the ordinance to firstname.lastname@example.org
Enforcement of the no shooting and limited shooting zones will fall the the County Sheriff’s Department.
For many residents, this issue didn’t revolve around a desire to ban hunting outright; many of our neighbors enjoy hunting. However, as densities have increased along shorelines, the issue of safety prevailed. Waterfront homes have been struck by shot and most hunters would likely agree that it’s good to separate hunting parties by several hundred yards. The changes proposed in the ordinance reflect a commonsense approach to safety, applied to zoning densities and the size of bodies of water in the area.
The need to reassess the County’s shooting ordinances was brought to the attention of Commissioner Karen Valenzuela by Griffin area homeowners. We have written about this issue in the past (click here to read those prior articles) and we encourage interested residents to review the proposed ordinance and to either attend the community meeting or email comments to the County.