Indoor shooting range loses lease before it can open in Eldersburg

June 08, 1993|By Kerry O'Rourke | Kerry O'Rourke,Staff Writer

Top Gun Indoor Range Inc. will not open in the Eldersburg Business Center after all -- the center's owner has canceled its lease.

Tamra Edwards, a spokeswoman for Merritt -- the Baltimore developer that built the center -- said yesterday the lease was canceled within the past couple of weeks. She would not say why.

South Carroll Coalition President Kathleen Horneman said she met with Leroy Merritt, who owns the development company, and another company representative recently to express residents' concerns.

Residents opposed the indoor shooting range because it would have been just across Route 32 from Liberty High School and next to Super Sports Inc., a sports complex popular with children. They said they worried that guns might discharge accidentally in the parking area and injure children.

At an April 27 hearing, the county Board of Zoning Appeals gave Pikesville attorney Jay L. Liner and Arbutus home builder Joseph R. Twilley permission to open the range. Residents testified in opposition at the hearing and filed an appeal of the zoning board's decision in Carroll Circuit Court on May 28.

Mr. Liner would not comment yesterday on why the lease was canceled or on whether he would try to open a range in another place. He referred questions to his attorney, Clark R. Shaffer of Westminster, who is out of town until Monday.

County records show that Mr. Liner and Mr. Twilley had signed five-year lease with Merritt for $28,050 a year for 6,600 square feet, beginning Sept. 1.

They planned to open a range this fall with 16, 25-yard lanes that would have been open to the public seven days a week.

The two men met with residents before the zoning hearing and agreed to hire a security guard to patrol the parking lot during peak hours at Super Sports.

They also agreed to raise the age limit, from 18 to 21, for which a customer would have to be accompanied by an adult.

Top Gun would have been the first indoor shooting range in Carroll.

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