Gun club awaits judge's ruling on relocating County says road to site is inadequate NORTHWEST -- Taneytown * Union Bridge * New Windsor * Uniontown

January 22, 1993|By Traci A. Johnson | Traci A. Johnson,Staff Writer

The Taneytown Rod and Gun Club is waiting for a Frederick County judge to tell them whether they can relocate to their Shoemaker Road property just outside Carroll County.

Officers of the gun club and county attorneys argued their cases Wednesday.

Circuit Judge Herbert Rollins did not say when he will hand down his opinion.

"The county's point is that the road leading to and from the property is not adequate for that kind of use," said Joseph Emerson, a deputy county attorney in Frederick who is working on the case.

"It's just a dirt road. When you have a shooting range, you need the road to be in better shape."

Last April, the Frederick Board of Zoning Appeals rejected a request to develop 20 acres of the club's 128-acre land to build a clubhouse and shooting range, after the sportsmen had discussed selling their former site on Stumptown Road to the city of Taneytown.

The board felt that Shoemaker Road, a gravel and rock road with several 90-degree turns near Starners Dam, was unsuitable for the club's use, Mr. Emerson said.

"A volunteer firefighter who lives up here said he's seen quite a few accidents on that road," Mr. Emerson said.

"If there was an accident with firearms up on that range, they'd have trouble getting an ambulance in there."

Gun Club President Godfrey Miller said the county's contention that emergency vehicles would be unable to negotiate the difficult roadway is incorrect.

"There are already people living on that road, " Mr. Miller said. "If [Frederick County officials] think the road is such a problem, and they have people living up there, I suggest they make it safe for emergency vehicles.

"The Dug Hill Rod and Gun Club in Carroll County is situated on a country road and they do fine."

No one discussed paving or widening the road to make the property more accessible, but Mr. Emerson said the gun club "wouldn't pave that road."

The club's settlement agreement with Taneytown requires them to vacate their former site by October.

"It's strange," Mr. Miller said. "We can't hold pistol competitions or anything like that, but we could all go out on the land and shoot in every direction. It would be a personal permitted use."

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