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Oak Harbor store owner says she’s moving to Coupeville

Whidbey Isle Yarns owner Dena Royal said Thursday that she plans to move her living quarters out of her Pioneer Way shop in Oak Harbor and into a Coupeville apartment next week.

Royal was cited last week by the City of Oak Harbor for living in a “studio” in the back of her shop.

The city stated that the living quarters do not meet the city’s building code.

Royal claims Oak Harbor city staff have been unnecessarily combative and she plans to continue her own investigation into the city’s tactics through a series of open record requests she has filed.

“I feel like a lone ranger here,” Royal said.

Royal said she was “singled out in a retaliatory manner.”

“I will be going to the Attorney General’s Office after reviewing the documents produced through public records requests,” she said.

Royal was cited by David Anderson from the city’s code compliance office last Tuesday. Royal said Anderson’s actions were “harassing,” that she asked him to leave her store twice, and filed a formal complaint with the city.

An investigation into Royal’s claims was conducted by Anderson’s supervisor, Dave Powers, director of development services.

“The allegation of harassment is unfounded,” Powers said in a letter to Royal dated July 8.

Royal also accuses Oak Harbor Police Chief Ed Green of making a retaliatory complaint against her because of her many complaints that the city is not enforcing the laws on Pioneer Way.

An investigation into Green’s actions is still underway.

Royal has filed multiple complaints with the city about smoking near her business doorway, cigarette butts and littering, public urination, and alleged over-serving at nearby bars.

As of Thursday, Royal said she’s had enough.

“I feel like I’m not getting anywhere with making positive changes on Pioneer,” Royal said.

“They don’t seem to want to work with family -friendly businesses. I do not trust the codes department or Chief Green to follow the laws in a fair or equitable manner.”

Royal said she also plans to seek a new retail space in Coupeville as soon as possible.

“Coupeville doesn’t seem to have the same concerns,” Royal said. “My health is more important than the stress … I don’t trust them. I don’t want to take the chance of being arrested or them tagging my business or shutting it down.”

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