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Monday, October 17, 2011

Bedford County Planning Commission to Consider Rezoning of Range

Today's News and Advance reports that the county planning commission will hold a public hearing at 7 p.m. tonight on a request to rezone 21 acres of an 80-acre plot located on Thomas Jefferson Road. The land owner is seeking to change the property, which is a quarter of a mile from U.S. 460 from a residential zoned area to Agricultural Rural Preserve.  This would allow him to reopen the range that he said has been in use since 1983. After the hearing, the commission, will hold a second related hearing on a request for a special use permit to operate the range. He needs rezoning to pass before a permit could be granted. The commissioners recommendations will then be sent to the board of supervisors for consideration at a later date and a vote on a final decision.

The owner of the property is Timothy F. Hooper.  Last year, an anonymous complaint was lodged with the county, and after an investigation, the county sent Hooper a notice that he was operating a range in violation of current zoning. The re-zoning would allow Hooper to operate the range as a firearm training facility for federal and state agencies and police.  In addition, the range would not generally operate from November to March and would give occasional training for organizations.

According to the News and Advance, a neighborhood meeting was held in August and Hooper said the range is not a threat to the area and assured that practices there are safe and supervised.  There were others at the meeting however that raised concerns about its close proximity to an elementary school.

The meeting details are below.

Monday, Oct. 17, 2011 at 7:00 PM
Bedford County Planning Commission
County Administration Board Room
122 E. Main Street
Bedford, VA

Information related to the request can be found begining on page 10 of the agenda packet by clicking here.

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