Planners give nod to proposed fifiring range

by Emmitt B. Feldner of The Review staff

PLYMOUTH – The conversion of the former Twinbrook Cleaners building at Eastern Avenue and Collins Street into an indoor pistol range got clearance from the Plan Commission Thursday.

A group led by Chad Radloff presented their plans for the Plymouth Pistol Range and Training Center to the commission.

Building Inspector Pete Scheuerman explained that he was seeking a consensus from the commission that the proposed use would fit within the B-2 zoning for the property and the vacant building.

He noted that the zoning ordinance lists a number of specific allowed uses in the B-2 general business district, but that firing ranges is not one of them.

The ordinance does allow for “general business and commercial uses which do not generate noise, smoke or odors that would create a public or private nuisance,” Scheuerman continued.

Radloff assured the commission members that noise from the four-lane pistol range would be contained and controlled.

“Proper construction will help control the noise with baffles, acoustic panels and such,” he said. “We will double up the exterior walls with six-inch poured concrete walls.”

He added that additional fill will be added outside the east wall of the building, facing Collins Street, which in effect will make that side of the building underground as an additional noise buffer.

“He wants to be a good neighbor,” Jeff Nass of the Wisconsin Firearm Owners, Ranges, Clubs & Educators Inc. and a technical advisor for ranges told the commission. “Every range wants to be safe and wants to be a good neighbor.”

He added that the nature of the building will help make it more conducive to use as a pistol range and help control noise.

Radloff said the four firing ranges would be on the east side of the building, with sales and training areas to the west.

The sales area would occupy the entire front of the building, with a hallway behind it between that area and the ranges, creating several more walls to contain and deaden noise from the firing range, according to Radloff.

In addition to the firing range, the building would be used for firearms training and the retail area would offer ammunition, shooting gear and such.

Radloff said classes would be limited to no more than 8-10 people at a time and he estimated that there would probably be no more than a maximum of 20-30 people at the building at any one time and typically fewer.

Radloff also presented a letter from Police Chief Jeffrey Tauscheck saying he had no issues with the proposed use.

“Typically places like this are considered places of amusement, which is permitted under the (B-2) zoning class,” commission member Jim Flanagan commented.

“Everything we’ve heard and commented on fits within the (zoning) code,” Mayor Donald Pohlman added.

Scheuerman polled the commission members following the discussion and all agreed that the proposed use would fit under the B-2 zoning guidelines.

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