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March 12, 2021 - 4:06pm

Planners pepper shooting range developer with questions about safety, noise, movie screen glare, berms

posted by Mike Pettinella in news, notify, Genesee County Planning Board, The Firing Pin.

Genesee County Planning Board members Thursday night fired off a few rounds of questions about safety, noise, glare and berms to the Brockport man proposing to develop an outdoor shooting range and drive-in theater on Harloff Road in the Town of Batavia.

At its meeting held via Zoom videoconferencing, the board recommended approval -- with modifications concerning stormwater pollution mitigation and acquiring the proper permits – of a special use permit and site plan for Brandon Lewis to construct and operate the business for shooting, firearms training, general recreation, fitness training and family entertainment, including a drive-in movie theater.

The venture, which is scheduled to go before the Batavia Town Planning Board next Tuesday, would be located at 3269 Harloff Road, not far from the Area 51 Motocross layout.

Lewis was asked about the placement of the theater screen and whether it would be visible to motorists on the nearby Thruway. He responded that he would make sure that wouldn’t be the case, but the board agreed to include that to the suggested modifications.

Planners also inquired about the number of berms or trees on the parcel, specifically on the west side between the rifle range and the neighboring property. Lewis said that a berm already is in place there along with a 12-foot retaining wall.

Concerning the possibility of noise from the shooting, Lewis said while the natural berms would “deflect sound from going onto the Thruway,” he also plans to plant more trees.

“It won’t be as disruptive as a semi going down the Thruway,” he said.

The board then asked about the hours of operation. Lewis said it mostly be during regular daytime business hours, but didn’t leave out the possibility of special target shooting event in the evening.

Furthermore, Lewis, who grew up in East Bethany, made it clear that no shooting will take place when the movie theater is open.

“We want safety for everyone,” he said.

Planners also considered the following referrals:

  • A site plan review for Mutka 3450 Properties of British Columbia, Canada, to construct a 1,500-square-foot office addition to an existing warehouse facility in a Manufacture-Industrial district at 3450 Railroad Ave. in the Village of Alexander. Approval with the modification that the site plan complies with all applicable floodplain construction requirements.
  • A site plan review for BALD Development LLC of Alden to construct an 11,250-square-foot (225 by 50) pole-barn-type commercial office/storage building in a Commercial district at 234 Genesee St. (Route 33) in the Town of Darien. Approval with modifications pertaining to driveway permits, stormwater pollution prevention, proper lighting and adherence to 9-1-1 standards.
  • A special use permit for ForeFront Power of San Francisco to place a 45-acre, 5 megawatt ground-mounted solar system in an Agricultural-Residential district at 6982 Norton Road in the Town of Elba. Approval with modifications pertaining to relocating a portion of the driveway and equipment pad to the edge of the field and adherence to 9-1-1 standards.

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