Support VSSA Advertisers

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Urgent Alert - Sussex County Board of Supervisors To Consider Shooting Range Ordinance Thursday

The Sussex County Board of Supervisors will consider an ordinance that would require pistol and shotgun ranges in A-1 zoning areas to apply for a conditional use permit to operate. The Public Hearing on the issue is Thursday, November 19 at 7:00 PM. This is becoming an all to familiar story. Gun owners in Sussex County need to turnout in big numbers at this meeting to show their opposition to this proposal. It should be noted that this is an idea of the Planning Commission and was not instigated by the Board of Supervisors.

While existing ranges like VSSA affiliated club Airfield Shooting Club and Sussex Shooting Sports may be grandfathered in by the proposal, approval of the recommendation may mean that future additions to the club and existing ranges may require them to apply for a permit. Further, this will impact numerous groups that need shooting facilities in the county like Boy Scouts, 4H, NRA Events (i.e. Women on Target Clinics etc). Below are the minutes from the August 20th Board meeting where the issue was originally discussed.

ORDINANCE AMENDMENT #2009-02Ms. Shannon C. Drew, Assistant to the Director of Planning, presented the staff report to the Board. The Zoning Ordinance
currently allows a sporting clays field and a pistol range by right in the A-1, General Agricultural District. Staff is requesting that Section 16-22, § 21 be amended to require a conditional use permit for the location of any sporting clays fields and/or pistol ranges in Sussex County. The requirement of a conditional use permit will allow proposed sites to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis to ensure that they are safe for the environment, the surrounding community and range patrons. Surrounding localities such as Prince George County, Surry County and Dinwiddie County require a Special Exception to be granted by the governing body, which is equivalent to Sussex County’s Conditional Use Permit, for the location and operation of a sporting clays field and/or a pistol range.

PLANNING COMMISSION RECOMMENDATION: The Planning Commission at their July 6, 2009 meeting voted unanimously (8-0) to send this item to the Board of Supervisors with a recommendation for approval to be read as follows:

"NOW, THEREFORE BE IT ORDAINED by the Board of Supervisors of Sussex County:That the Sussex County Code, Chapter 16 (Zoning), Article II (General Agricultural District), Section 16-22 (Use Regulations), § 21 is hereby amended as follows: Add the requirement of a conditional use permit to Sec. 16-22 §21.21. Sporting clays field and/or pistol range, with a conditional use permit."

Ordinance Amendment #2009-02 ON MOTION OF SUPERVISOR BIRDSONG, seconded by SUPERVISOR CAPLE and carried: RESOLVED that the Sussex County Board of Supervisors hereby sends Ordinance Amendment #2009-02 of the Sussex County Code, Chapter 16, (Zoning) Article II (General Agricultural District), back to the Planning Commission to clearly define the terms “sporting clays fields and pistol ranges in Sussex County,” prior to the Board of Supervisors considering again said ordinance amendment. Voting aye: Supervisors Birdsong, Caple, Fly, Harrell, Parker Voting nay: none Absent: Supervisor Tyler.
Supervisor Wayne Birdsong said the way to beat this is a large turnout. I know this is short notice but if you live in Sussex and can attend please do so.

Hat tip to VA-Alert.

No comments: