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Sand flies illegally at local sandpit

KINGSTON — For several years, Kingston resident Jeff Dennison has fought most weekends to maintain control over his own driveway off Miller Bay Road. He’s been working to keep dirt bikers and four-wheelers from using the ingress as a staging point for using a sandpit on private property owned by Bill Arness.

During last Monday’s Kitsap County Commissioners board meeting, Dennison vented his frustrations at the inaction of Arness and the county to deter people from trespassing on his property.

“Most weekends of the year that it’s not raining, specifically summer, spring and fall, pickup trucks bearing four-wheelers stop in my driveway, and the four-wheelers shoot across Miller Bay Road to Mr. Arness’ property,” he said Wednesday. “There are two access roads up to the property, and he only has cement blocks across them to deter trucks from going up there. It doesn’t keep parents from dropping off their kids to go up there and raise heck. And they use my driveway.”

Arness said Wednesday when he catches such trespassers on his property, he calls the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office. He doesn’t like the situation, he said, but finds it difficult to avod.

“We chase motorbikes out of there whenever we get a chance,” Arness said. “We’ve had the sheriff out there, they’ve arrested people. We do not want people riding motorcycles, bicycles, etc. in that area.”

Dennison said he contacts KCSO and Arness every time his driveway is used — the last call he made was around Monday evening for gunshots being fired in the area. KCSO public information officer Scott Wilson said he only had one, unrelated report from Dennison and four reports from Arness from 2000, 2002 and 2003 involving malicious mischief and criminal trespassing.

“I don’t recall hearing anything recently,” he said. “I’m familiar with the fact that people use the sandpit for all kinds of things. It is private property, if Bill allows it, there’s not much we can do about it.”

Kitsap County Commissioner Chris Endresen heard Dennison’s plea for help, and acknowledged the countywide problem with off-road vehicles using private property. She said the board of commissioners will check into it, and noted that several Department of Community Development representatives were at the meeting and gave their business cards to Dennison.

“He said they use his driveway as a launching point, and it’s dangerous for kids,” Endresen said. “He doesn’t think they’re licensed vehicles. They also come down his driveway and apparently parents drop off their kids.”

Dennison said he is concerned about children driving across Miller Bay Road without helmets. Many later return to use his telephone to call their parents to pick them up. He said he lets them only because he’s concerned about them riding their bikes down Miller Bay Road to find a pay phone.

“It’s like trying to keep mosquitos out,” Arness said. “They come in from all different angles, they come in through the woods, through Miller Bay Estates, they come in different ways, so it’s a little hard to keep them out. The sheriff has been very helpful in trying to keep these guys out.”

Even so, not fencing folks out of his property has landed Arness in hot water with the county in the past.

In 2003, a corner lot he owns at the intersection of Bond and Stottlemyer roads was being used as a used car lot of sorts. He maintained there wasn’t much he could do to keep the vehicles — some of which were later vandalized — from being parked at the site. In 2005, Arness came to an agreement with the county and installed up a better gate at the location.

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