Sunday, April 15, 2012

Shooting range - good idea; wrong location

The McHenry County Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) will consider a petition on Thursday, April 19, 1:30PM, and/or on April 24, 10:00AM, for a shooting range northeast of Woodstock on Route 120 at Queen Anne Road, where the miniature golf and driving range were located.

Having an outdoor shooting range in McHenry County is a great idea. Having it along Route 120 at Queen Anne Road? A disaster waiting to happen.

If the ZBA wants public feedback, it ought to hold the hearing in the evening. The members may not need to work for a living, but the People do.

And, speaking of the ZBA, why is it so hard to find the names of the members of the ZBA on the County's website?

I finally found Minutes of the April 4th Voting meeting, and the Minutes contained these names: "Kelly, Eldredge, Gartner, Haerter, Kooistra, Scherer". This sentence appears, too: "(Dave Stone should have read 12-14-11)" What would something like that mean?

These people are appointed by the County Board, and it shouldn't be a secret who they are or how to contact them. Full names should appear in meeting Minutes, and full contact information (name, address, telephone number, e-mail address) should appear on the County's website. If it's there, it's carefully hidden.

Good luck trying to communicate your opinions to the ZBA, if you wish to address Board members individually and away from the Planning Department.

No doubt the ZBA will consider safety issues, such as distances any bullet can travel from the firing line. Will it draw a circle with a 1.0-1.5 mile radius? While all shots fired ought to be down-range, what consideration will be given to "wild" or accidental shots fired other than down-range?

What about the "noise" circle? Three miles? Five miles? How large a caliber will be permitted? .50 cal.?

An outdoor range belongs way out in the country, not adjacent to existing housing or reasonably expected housing in the future. A good location would be somewhere between Harvard and Marengo, west of Route 23. The location at Route 120 and Queen Anne Road is a terrible location for a shooting range!


Anonymous said...

All outdoor ranges are surrounded by earth berms that prevent stray shots from going anywhere other than into the ground. All ranges have a range master. Any range master will ban you for life for significantly less serious offenses than accidental discharges. I cannot find even one example on Google describing an injury at a shooting range inflicted on a non-participant.

As far as the noise issue, don't be a NIMBY. If the neighbors have a problem with the range, their remedy is in court with a nuisance cause of action, not with our inept zoning board.

yagottabekidding said...

No problem. I am sure they will withdraw the petition when they find out who's against it.

Anonymous said...

500 Lake Avenue sounds like a good alternative location to me.
Could setup a few cardboard cutouts of good ol' Tin Star Keith in da backyard and bring out the heavy artillery: Red Ryder!


Laura said...

I am a gun owner, andI live within earshot of the proposed outdoor range and i will be there on thursday to speak against it, the rest of the proposal is fine (mini golf, paintball, etc.) but a outdoor gun range, no way am i going to listen to bang, bang, bang all day every day. This to me is not a gun issue, but a noise issue. This county really needs to get its act together!

Gus said...

I hope you'll tell your neighbors and ask them to be there, too, or to send their proxies with you.

yagottabekidding said...

Good for you. You"ve got your loyal followers all stirred up with little more information than a location.

Gus said...

abdicate - hey, just let me know your address and I'll recommend that the range be put next door to your place. I'm sure you'll enjoy the noise.

The issues are noise and safety. The Committee should knock it down. If it doesn't, the County Board should make short work of knocking down the range at the proposed location of Route 120 and Queen Anne Rd.

yagottabekidding said...

And you have no idea if and/or how those issues will be addressed. Just sound the "Charge!"

Gus said...

Bingo! You got it. And then people on both sides of the issue show up and participate. What a novel idea!