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I recently read an article in The Lancaster News and Carolina Gateway about a gun range being given a permit to open less than one mile from the soon-to-be-open new elementary school in Indian Land.
I could not help but disagree with this decision on so many levels.
First, does it make sense to have guns anywhere near a school with what has transpired recently regarding schools and guns? Painting a broad brush on guns is not my intention by mentioning this. I’m merely saying guns and schools don’t mix.
Secondly, a business decision as controversial as this should be vetted/shared in the impacted community prior to approving it. I can’t think of one person who would love to hear they are getting a gun range just down the street from them. It doesn’t ring out the same as saying you’re getting a Target or Walmart just down the street.
Third, this has financial implications for the folks who live in and around this gun range. I understand the first phase is indoor.
However, a second phase. Is also mentioned. Has that phase been determined to be indoor or outdoor yet?
How do you think having a gun range in your neighborhood impacts your home prices, the same home prices the county just increased our taxes on?
I am also sending this letter to our Congressman Mick Mulvaney. While he may not be the appropriate person to impact change in this matter, I felt compelled to inform him of this decision.
The last thing I will mention is the “wedge” between Lancaster and Indian Land. This is just another ill-advised decision made without the citizens being informed.
Yet another example of political bullying against Indian Land.
Editor’s note: According to Lancaster County Planning Director Penelope Karagounis, the planning department does not issue permits. She said the building permit for the Range at Ballantyne was issued by Lancaster County Building and Zoning Department late last year.
Karagounis said when the request first came up in 2010 (before the new school was planned nearby in 2012) because the county Unified Development Ordinance does not specifically list indoor firing ranges, it was considered to fall under “amusement/recreation facilities.” This is a permitted use in B-3 commercial zoning, which the property at 9873 Harrisburg Road is zoned, so no rezoning was required through the planning department or commission.
Karagounis said the matter did go before the Development Review Committee, which includes all affected local agencies, in May and was cleared about six weeks ago. However, Lancaster County School District was not part of that committee and was not notified because the property is commercial, not residential.
She said the county has no regulations regarding how far away a firing range should be from a school.