Clallam OKs rezone for disc golf course

Project pending Clallam County commissioners’ vote

This map shows a proposed disc golf course east of Sequim.

This map shows a proposed disc golf course east of Sequim.

A 40-acre plot east of Sequim is one step closer toward being transformed into a long awaited disc golf course.

The Clallam County Planning Commission passed the recommendation to rezone the property in a 6-1 vote with two abstentions following a public hearing Oct. 7. The decision to change the property from Rural Low to Parks and Recreation will allow county parks and recreation officials to continue with their plans that began in 2007 to implement an 18-hole disc golf course.

“I think it’s an ideal location,” Tom Montgomery, planning commission member, said.

Disc golf is a game that combines the concepts of golf, basketball and frisbee. It can be played solo or with many, where each individual throws a small disc into baskets scattered throughout a course with natural obstacles, such as trees and hills. The object of the game is to traverse a course from start to finish with the fewest number of throws of the disc.

“Over the past decade, the game has seen a 12 to 15 percent annual growth rate across the country,” according to the Clallam County Parks, Fair and Facilities 2013 disc golf proposal.

Past controversy on the location and park department priorities, time and funding kept the disc golf course from becoming a reality, but in 2010 county parks officials targeted a 40-acre site adjacent to Thompson Road conducive for multiple configurations and varying features for players of all levels.

In May, members of the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board discussed the public concerns associated with the Thompson Road site that primarily focused on the potential of increased traffic and loss of privacy — echoing those voiced by one nearby resident at the planning commission’s public hearing. Like the planning commission, in May the board voted to continue with proposed plans and by July they had submitted the necessary paperwork to rezone the property to the county’s Department of Community Development.

Despite the space available, only about 20 acres are will be utilized for the course.

Having passed through the planning commission, the Clallam County Board of Commissioners is next to vote on whether the area should be rezoned.

“I think the earliest the board would hear the rezone would be late October or early November,” Kevin LoPiccolo, Clallam County Department of Community Development planning manager, said. “The Planning Commission recommendation and findings will be submitted to the BOCC as well as the record of Planning Commission proceedings.”

Only after the county commissioners approve the rezoning will Bruce Giddens, Clallam County Parks and Fair supervisor, pursue the next step of scheduling a volunteer work party to further prep the site, he said.

Giddens had hoped to have the disc golf course implemented by the end of the year, but completion of the project pends on finalizing the rezone and the amount of volunteers willing to help thin and chip trees, remove invasive plant species and install the needed infrastructure.

If interested in volunteering, e-mail Giddens at parks@co.clallam.wa.us. For county updates on the disc golf course, visit www.clallam.net/Parks.

 

 

Reach Alana Linderoth at  alinderoth@sequimgazette.com.


 

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