GOLD BEACH The Curry County Planning Commission agreed 3-2 to allow construction of five hunting-fishing cabins in a forested area next to Pistol River, although area residents said shooting guns in the area would be too dangerous to nearby residents.
The vote will allow James and Lynette Boniface to build the private, seasonal fishing and hunting accommodations on their 100-acre property north of Pistol River Loop on Cape View Loop, nine miles south of Gold Beach.
"I have two concerns," John Kearney told the commission. "We do have a number of homes on Cape View Loop, we have a cemetery across the creek that is actually used."
He said the Bonifaces are responsible people, but "I don't know how you regulate people who come to the county to do that. A 30-caliber rifle will go a mile to a mile and a half. We all have kids and grandkids."
C.J. Osman said she had nothing against hunting in general, "however there may be a danger to the neighborhood. Even the local properties that may be zoned otherwise, it's used as residential. I personally fear strong bullets."
John Rose said he had hunted that property for many years.
"There are no elk there now and barely any deer," Rose said. "This is not hunting and fishing, it's a tourist attraction. I've seen what hunters do. They don't pay attention to signs."
But Chuck Nordstrom, the Bonifaces' land use consultant, said the vote would not change anything about hunting.
"Most of the comments center around hunting," Nordstrom said. "Hunting is allowed now. The applicant could allow anyone to go hunting there with or without the lodge."
Commissioner John Brazil agreed.
"Most of this appears to be zoned forestry and grazing," Brazil said. "Hunting is allowed."
The hunting cabins will be built at a site that was approved as a hunting and fishing lodge almost 20 years ago on the McKinley Ranch. At that time, the planning commission approved six, two-bedroom cabins and an eight-bedroom main lodge for a total of 20 guest rooms. Then new owners revised the plan and got approval for six cabins on the property.
The new owner began construction of five of the six proposed cabins. Foundations were completed and inspected on four of the sites and a cabin constructed on a fifth site before the project was abandoned.
The plan approved Thursday would allow five, two-bedroom cabins, using the foundations that had earlier been poured.
The commission barely had a quorum present at the meeting. County Counsel Jerry Herbage advised the commission that a majority of a quorum carried the vote.