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No-shooting petition finds its mark
"After spirited comments by a handful of the more than 50 citizens on hand, the Kitsap County Commissioners Monday passed a resolution approving a no-shooting zone petition regarding a 64-acre tract in Olalla, just north of the county line.Commissioner Tim Botkin tried to explain to the vociferous audience that the petition wasn't likely to be the last act in the drama.While this establishes a no-shooting zone, should someone make an application (for a gun club-shooting range), we would have to consider it. This (resolution) makes such a proposal more difficult but does not necessarily preclude it, Botkin said.When Botkin asked for opponents of the no-shooting resolution to go first, there were no takers.But there were plenty of people against any gun club in their neighborhood, including the oft-mentioned relocation of the Gig Harbor Sportsman's Club.Dean Kimura, author of the no-shooting zone petition, seemed to sum up the neighborhood's feeling for most of the 160 residents who signed the petition.We live in a suburban neighborhood with hundreds of people in sight. I spoke with the developer (of the still not officially proposed Gig Harbor Sportsman's Club) He implied that he would compensate me for my property, Kimura said. Then, Kimura said, he called Daryl Piercy, a county Department of Community Development official, because for some reason the (county's) ordinance (50-C-1994) prohibits shooting unless you're going to shoot constantly into the night.Olalla-Burley residents are firmly against this. We will fight the club's attempt to defecate in our backyard, Kimura concluded.According to the current ordinance, passed in 1994, shooting is prohibited in Kitsap County:* Within 500 yards of any saltwater shoreline in the unincorporated areas of Kitsap County.* On any parcel of land less than five acres in size. * Toward any building occupied by people or domestic animals or used for the storage of flammable or combustible materials where the point of discharge is within 500 yards of such building;* From a half hour after sunset to a half hour before sunrise.The ordinance further reads that Nothing in this section shall be construed...as abridging the right of the individual guaranteed by the state constitution.The exceptions to the ordinance are firearms discharged by law enforcement officers, including Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife officers, or security personnel in the course of their official duties, and on a range, provided that any such range shall comply with the criteria for ranges adopted by the County Commissioners, or in the course of farm slaughter activities.The commissioners agreed after the meeting, in the face of united community opposition, that they should take a new look at their zoning ordinance and see where they currently allow shooting ranges.Despite all the specific talk about the Olalla Gun Club, Kitsap County had received no formal application for such a project as of June 19."