Constituent sticks it to county commissioner - Posts "Buffers Steal Land - CAO" sign in yard

    By Evan Cael, Peninsula Daily News
    Nov. 7, 2007

    PORT TOWNSEND, WA - When Jefferson County Commissioner David Sullivan stepped outside his Cape George home Monday morning to get the newspaper, he saw something that irked him.

    Someone had stuck a sign reading, "Buffers Steal Land - CAO" in his front yard.

    The sign referred to a highly controversial update to the county's critical areas ordinance - the "CAO" referred to in the sign - that sets no-development buffers around environmentally sensitive areas such as wetlands and wildlife habitat.

    At the close of the public comment period at Monday's county commissioners meeting, Sullivan, sign in hand, told the audience that he would appreciate it if whoever put the sign up would talk to him directly instead.

    He added that if the person wanted the sign back, he or she could have it.

    Steps forward
    Irondale resident Denver Shoop stood and jovially accepted his sign back.

    "He knows that I'm available and accessible to him," Sullivan said of Shoop in an interview Monday.

    "I think it's premature to lobby the commissioners and it was an inappropriate way to lobby the commissioners.

    "I find it a little ironic that it was put [on my property] by someone advocating property rights."

    Shoop, in an interview, said he thought he put the sign in an area that wasn't Sullivan's property.

    "I'm not trying to infringe on his private property," Shoop said.

    "I just want [the commissioners] to know that I am getting tired of this."

    Objection cited
    Shoop's concern, he said, is that the critical areas ordinance looks to create buffer zones without telling property owners why they are necessary and failing to show where there are problems that would require buffers.

    Those who wish to voice their opinions of the draft critical areas ordinance have that opportunity Wednesday night at a public hearing in front of the Planning Commission, which recommends to the county commissioners.

    The hearing begins at 6:30 p.m. at the Chimacum High School auditorium, 91 West Valley Road, Chimacum.

    To obtain a copy of the Planning Commission's draft critical areas ordinance, visit Jefferson County's Web site at

    A paper copy can be picked up at the Jefferson County Department of Community Development office, 621 Sheridan St., Port Townsend.

    Once the Planning Commission delivers its recommendations to the county commissioners, the commissioners have until Jan. 18, 2008, to adopt the final version of the updated ordinance.

    Reporter Evan Cael can be reached at 360-385-2335 or



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