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Planning board takes another look at indoor gun ranges

maconAllowing indoor gun ranges within the Franklin town limits is still on hold as the town planning board has been asked to re-examine its recommendations to the town board.

Town Planner Justin Setser was ready at Monday night’ board meeting to present the planning board’s suggestions for amending the town’s Unified Development Ordinance and set a public hearing, but aldermen said they had some concerns.

Aldermen turned the issue over to the planning board in June after Jeff Wang, owner of Jeff’s Ammo & Arms, requested to construct and operate an indoor gun range at 245 Carolina Mountain Drive in Franklin.

At the time, Town Attorney John Henning Jr. said the town had an ordinance prohibiting shooting a firearm inside the town limits and that an amendment could be made to the ordinance to provide an exception for commercial use. 

The planning board met July 20 and recommended allowing indoor gun ranges to be permissible in all commercial districts and to strike a section of the ordinance requiring an indoor gun range to be more than 250 feet away from any residence. Proposed indoor gun ranges to be located in a secondary commercial area would have to get a special use permit.

“I don’t agree with some of the changes made on that — I’m not really satisfied with it,” said Alderman Verlin Curtis. “I’d like to motion to send it back to the planning board.”

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Alderwoman Joyce Handley agreed. She said she is concerned because a couple of the commercial zonings do contain residential areas.  

Curtis said he would like the planning board to look at only allowing gun ranges to be located in strictly commercial areas and would like to keep the 250-foot buffer between a gun range and residential dwellings. 

The board unanimously approved sending the issue back to the planning board for further study. 

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