Indoor shooting ranges targeted for industrial areas

January 13, 1995|By Donna E. Boller | Donna E. Boller,Sun Staff Writer

The Westminster Planning Commission gave its blessing last night to indoor shooting ranges in industrial areas, bringing would-be range owner James Harris one step closer to his goal.

The commission also heard a request to speed public water and sewer service to a 31-acre property on Gist Road where owner Nicholas Samios plans to build 43 single-family houses.

Mr. Harris plans to open an indoor shooting range, probably in the county air business center on Route 97, although he has refused to confirm his planned location.

The planning commission will recommend that the City Council amend city zoning law to allow shooting ranges in areas zoned for industrial use. The ranges would be categorized as special exceptions, which means a request to open one would trigger a public hearing.

The council is scheduled to conduct a public hearing on the zoning change at its Feb. 13 meeting.

Commission members accepted staff recommendations to eliminate two requirements proposed by Mr. Harris' lawyer: 2-acre lots and at least 3,000 feet from the nearest liquor store, tavern or restaurant selling alcohol.

The owner of Bullock's Airport Inn had expressed concern earlier that his chance of obtaining a liquor license might be hurt because the proposed shooting range would be less than 3,000 feet from his restaurant. Lot size should be dictated by factors such as building size and parking requirements, planning Director Thomas B. Beyard said.

Mr. Beyard said setback requirements would make the 3,000-foot distance from alcohol sales an unnecessary addition. The setbacks eliminate industrial sites downtown that are near places that sell alcohol, he said.

The commission added requirements that indoor shooting ranges must use the best available technology to dispose of lead from bullets and shot; ban black powder and Teflon-coated ammunition; refuse entry to anyone who appears to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol; bar sale or use of alcohol on the property.

The city planning staff argued against moving Mr. Samios' property ahead in the water and sewer priority list, on the grounds that he can begin to develop a 17-acre section that is already in line for utilities.

The rest of the property will be reviewed for possible inclusion in 1996, when the two-year cycle of water and sewer planning updates is scheduled.

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