Despite referendum, Shooter's Supply faces yet another hurdle

Despite an overwhelming public vote last month approving plans to open an indoor target range, the Cincinnati Enquirer is reporting that Shooter's Supply's effort to open an indoor target range on Loveland-Madeira Road will land in a Hamilton County courtroom Thursday. This time, the issue is zoning.

From the story:

    Landeira LLC, the developer that wants to turn the former site of Matthew: 25 Ministries into a range for the Shooter's Supply shop, filed suit last week after the city denied its application for a zoning permit.
    The company contends that the range fits in with zoning there. But city officials say Landeira is required to seek a variance through the board of zoning appeals because the range would be 200 feet from a residential district. An apartment complex is directly across the street.

    "What they are saying is that this is allowed by right. They don't have to use an appeals process," city manager Fred Enderle said Monday. "It takes all the mystery out of it in terms of having to worry about whether the (board) will grant a variance or not."

    Attorney William Gustavson, who represents Landeira and Shooter's Supply co-owners Marvin Mann and Dan Lovett, said he's merely asking the city to enforce its own zoning code.

    "There's no restriction they can impose on us," Gustavson said. "The Loveland zoning code says commercial recreation is a permitted use unless it's within 200 feet of an R-District. If you look at the zoning map, there's no R-District within 200 feet, just a special planning district."

According to the story, Gustavson will ask Common Pleas Judge Pat Dinkelacker Thursday to force Loveland to issue the zoning permit.

The target range became an emotional issue almost as soon as it was proposed, pitting residents who expressed concern for their safety and the city's image against gun owners and police officers who liked the idea of having a range close by for training.

Opponents of the range placed a referendum on the February ballot, and lost decisively - the referendum passed 1,267 to 824 (61%-39%).

The latest development has Mann wondering what more could happen to hold up the project.
"Every time we clear some hurdle, here comes another one," he told the newspaper.

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