The Wahkiakum County Eagle - Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

By Rick Nelson
Wah. Co. Eagle 

County urged to write ordinance regarding public nudity


Two Grays River Valley residents on Tuesday asked the Wahkiakum County Board of Commissioners to draft an ordinance governing public nudity in the county.

Christine and Robert Symonds said a new resident of the Valley is a nudist, and travelers often see him outside his residence or even along the county road.

Robert Symonds said he had talked to the man when he first moved into the area and was told the man intended to build a fence to screen his property. However, the fence has not yet been built.

"You're not the only ones on your road who are unhappy with the situation," said Commissioner Blair Brady.

Christine Symonds said Prosecuting Attorney Dan Bigelow had suggested the couple offer a sample ordinance from another jurisdiction for the county to begin consideration of the issue. She offered the board of commissioners an ordinance from the City of Spokane Valley.

That ordinance defines nudity and prohibits people from knowingly exposing "a prohibited body part in a public place without a full and opaque covering." It also makes it unlawful for the owner of any kind of business to facilitate the exposure of a prohibited body part in a public place without full and opaque covering.

The ordinance contains exceptions for breast feeding or expressing milk, for public places where privacy is customary, for classes, seminars or lectures for educational purposes, for businesses where medical procedures occur, for children under age 10, for dramatic performances, and for conduct pursuant to ordinances regulating adult entertainment.

Commissioner Mike Backman suggested someone try to talk to the individual so that the county could avoid having to make a rule.

"Leaving the property naked isn't acceptable," Brady said.

Commissioners agreed they would look into the matter and consider an ordinance.


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