Foes seek way to thwart gun range Parents consider zoning appeal

May 04, 1993|By Kerry O'Rourke | Kerry O'Rourke,Staff Writer

Parents opposed to an indoor shooting range in Eldersburg said last night they may appeal a Carroll zoning board's decision to allow the range if they can find an attorney to work for free.

The parents, some of them members of the South Carroll Coalition, also may organize a campaign to pressure the Eldersburg Business Center to cancel the range's lease or move it elsewhere in the building.

Whatever the group decides, it must be done quickly, coalition President Kathleen Horneman told 17 people at a coalition meeting last night at the Eldersburg branch of the Carroll County Public Library.

The group has until May 27 to appeal to Carroll Circuit Court a decision last Tuesday by the Carroll Board of Zoning Appeals to allow Top Gun Indoor Range Inc. to open. Range owners -- Pikesville attorney Jay L. Liner and Arbutus homebuilder Joseph R. Twilley -- said they plan to open a 16-lane range this fall.

Ms. Horneman said it would cost $2,500 to $3,500 to appeal the zoning board decision. The coalition does not have the money, she said.

Some parents who testified at the zoning hearing said they oppose the range because it would be across the street from Liberty High School and next to Super Sports Inc., an indoor arena popular among children. They said they feared for their children's safety.

Last night, Super Sports owner Mark Hughes said business center owners Leroy and Rob Merritt might be receptive to calls from concerned parents.

Some parents have threatened to boycott Super Sports if the shooting range opens, Mr. Hughes testified at the hearing. He said last night that the range would be less of a problem if it were farther away from his arena in the business center.

Debbie Keyser of Eldersburg, a Montgomery County police officer, said the people who would come to shoot targets at the range would be responsible gun owners.

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