October 31, 2013 | Vol. 117 -- No. 28

Run for the hills, it's a deerpocalypse in Medical Lake!

Write to the Point

Brace yourselves, the deer apocalypse has struck! Protect your petunias, fence up your ferns and for heaven’s sake, lock up your lavender, the deer are coming!

Well, at least that’s the way it seems to be in Medical Lake. A new ordinance that nearly made it before the Medical Lake City Council would prohibit feeding of deer while in the city limits and set up violation penalties for those committing such a heinous act.

The first reading of the ordinance was tabled at the last meeting, but you can almost guarantee that it will return within the next few meetings. This is an issue that’s been hiding in the undercurrent for a number of months now, apparently drawing rage from enough residents calling in to City Hall to warrant the creation of an ordinance.

We can look at the now-tabled ordinance in two ways.

On one hand, this could be a severe problem for homeowners, putting up with deer ruining fences, gardens, siding and other private property elements. That translates into expensive repairs made throughout the years, without any assurance the problem will go away. Deer also pose a very serious threat to vehicles driving on roads at night, and having a substantial deer population in an urban setting is only asking for trouble.

But, on the other side, having a deer-feeding ordinance come through City Hall must mean there aren’t any other problems left to solve in the city. Everything is fine in Medical Lake, with the exception of that darned deer malaise, which threatens the very fabric of society.

In a draft of the ordinance tabled by the City Council, first-time violators within the first three years would see penalties of $50 plus statutory costs and assessments. A second violation would cost $100, and a third violation and each one after would cost $150.

Up to a $150 fine for feeding deer. And here I thought being friendly to nature was all the rage these days.

The draft also stated that gardens and fruit from trees shall not be intentionally left or made available for deer to consume. It goes further to state that no fruit should be left on trees after Nov. 1, to prevent deer from grazing.

If the deer in Medical Lake suddenly turned into aggressive, man-eating zombie deer, this ordinance might be something that warrants pursuit. It would even be warranted if the deer started stampeding through the city streets at night.

An ordinance like this is unnecessary and quite honestly a waste of time until deer start showing up at random dinner tables, expecting a plate of whatever’s being served.

Instead of taking aim at private residences, perhaps the City Council should look at Peper Park, located on the north end of Medical Lake. The park is well-known for the aggressive geese that have staked their claim on the land. Before creating new rules for residents’ property in Medical Lake, the city needs to step up and fix its own.

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