The Lawrence-Douglas County Planning Commission wasn't gun-shy Wednesday in expressing opposition to a rural Lecompton man's proposal for an outdoor firing range west of Lawrence.
Noah Goddard, a certified firearms instructor, was granted an indefinite deferral of his request for a conditional use permit to offer handgun training for private detectives and security officers after it became clear the commission wasn't going to approve his request.
Four of seven commissioners Philip Bradley, Jean Milstead, Dan Rockhill and John Wulfkuhle raised questions about the range's potential for causing injury and inconvenience to neighbors and for creating a fire hazard.
"We can't protect against 100 percent of those (mistakes), but we want to make it as safe as possible," Bradley said.
Wulfkuhle said it would be better if Goddard built an enclosed firing range, but Goddard said that would cost too much. Wulfkuhle also said he would oppose the project if anyone complained about potential noise problems, and one person did so.
"I'm not going to push this application at the expense of offending my neighbors," Goddard said.
GODDARD SAID the risk of injury or fire at the weapons range was minimal, despite his refusal to allow the Kanwaka Township Fire Department onto his property. He alleged that firefighters responding to a July 4 fire on his property were intoxicated.
"I have strong feelings about these people," Goddard said. "They're not going to come on our property, and they know that."
Rockhill said, "The issue with this fire protection is scary. I will find it very hard to agree with the recommendation of staff."
The commission's staff recommended approval of Goddard's proposal.
The firing range would be on 20 acres south of U.S. Highway 40 about halfway between Lawrence and Topeka. Students would be firing on the range 12 days a year, Goddard said.
Goddard said that he wants to proceed with the project and hopes that during the next month or so he can find a way to resolve the commission's concerns.
IN OTHER business, planners:
Approved Dec. 18 minutes.
Received reports and minutes from ad hoc committees that met during the last month.
Received communications to the commission from the public, staff or governing bodies.
On the consent agenda, planners unanimously approved in a single motion the following:
Preliminary plat of Wakarusa View Estates, a 59-acre, 124-lot, residential subdivision south of 26th Street, west of Crossgate Drive. Submitted by Landplan Engineering for John M. McGrew, property owner.
Final plat of Wakarusa View Estates, a 15.37-acre, 49-lot, residential subdivision south of 26th Street, about 740 feet west of Crossgate Drive. Submitted by Landplan Engineering for John M. McGrew, property owner.
Deferral of the final plat of Pioneer Ridge West No. 5, a 0.447-acre, two-lot residential replat of Lots 18 and 19, Block 1, Pioneer Ridge West No. 1, south of Woodland Drive, about 120 feet east of where Moundridge Drive curves into Woodland Drive. Submitted by Landplan Engineering for Pinnacle Inc., Robert L. Stephens, president and property owner.
Final plat of Jeannamar Subdivision, about five acres, a one-lot multifamily residential subdivision, between Wimbledon Drive and Clinton Parkway, about 500 feet west of Inverness Drive. Submitted by EBH & Associates for William L. Lemesany, property owner.
Final plat of Westdale Addition No. 4, a replat of a residential subdivision of about 2.3 acres, eight lots in Westdale Addition No. 2, on the east side of Centennial Drive, between Yale and Harvard roads. Submitted by Landplan Engineering for David B. Topp, congregational president of the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church.
After a public hearing, planners unanimously approved:
Preliminary development plan for the Wakarusa Center PCD-2, northwest of Clinton Parkway Nursery on the west side of Wakarusa Drive. This preliminary development plan contains about seven acres. Proposed uses include: mini-storage warehouses, office and caretaker's residence. Submitted by Landplan Engineering for Robert G. Billings, managing partner for Yankee Tank Investors II, property owner.
After a non-public hearing, planners unanimously approved:
Final development plan for Phase I, Lot 3, of Wakarusa Center PCD-2, northwest of Clinton Parkway Nursery on the west side of Wakarusa Drive. This final development plan is for the development of mini-storage warehouses, office and caretaker's residence. Submitted by Landplan Engineering for Robert G. Billings, managing partner for Yankee Tank Investors II, property owner.
After a public hearing, the commission unanimously approved:
A request for a conditional use permit for a landfill on property proposed for development of residential housing in the future. The property is on the west side of Kasold Drive, south of the 31st Street curve. Requested by Landplan Engineering for Ernest & Rosie Aldrich, property owners. Deferred from last June.
Amendments to the Lesser Change Table to include newly created zoning districts.
A text amendment to city zoning ordinance regarding satellite dish receivers. Initiated by the planning commission at its December meeting.
Text amendments to city zoning ordinances to add recycling as an allowed use and special conditions to be placed on it. Initiated by the planning commission at its December meeting.
After a public hearing, the commission voted 7-1 to approve:
A text amendment to the county zoning regulations to add office and research facility uses to those uses permitted under a conditional use permit. Initiated by the Douglas County Commission at its Dec. 23 meeting. Bradley dissented.