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Area 51 Motocross

With shooting range in doubt, Lewis aims for campground, drive-in at Town of Batavia location

By Mike Pettinella

While not giving up on the Town of Batavia location completely, Brandon Lewis, owner of The Firing Pin in Bergen, figures he’s fighting a losing battle as far as developing an outdoor shooting range at the 22-acre parcel he owns at 3269 Harloff Road.

Acknowledging restrictions that come with the necessary special use permit from the Town of Batavia Planning Board and solid opposition from homeowners in that area, Lewis said he is changing up his game plan for the property.

“We’re going to move forward with some of our other business ventures as it does look less and less likely every day (that a shooting range will become a reality there) just because of the requirements set forth by the town,” Lewis said on Monday afternoon.

“(The revised plan) would include some of the other ideas I had, maybe not as full bore as I wanted to. I do like the property and I would like to keep it.”

Lewis, a Brockport resident who grew up in Genesee County, introduced his idea to place a shooting range/training facility, modest drive-in movie theater and small campground in March to the Genesee County Planning Board.

Since then, he has appeared before the town planning board on a few occasions but the proposal has been stuck in the mud for several reasons: planners’ justifiable request for specific details of Lewis’ plan; Lewis’ questioning of the constraints of the special use permit and; most notably, Harloff Road area residents’ objections to the shooting range over, primarily, noise and safety concerns.

“It’s not so much the town, but I don’t want to run a business where every neighbor is pitting against me,” Lewis said. “That’s certainly not how my shop in Bergen is. I think the community quite likes us out there.”

He said he understands the planning board is “just trying to do their duty” but isn’t ready to invest several hundred thousand dollars in an unreceptive environment.

“I just think no matter what I do, the residents – the locals – are just going to be against it. My neighbor here, Chris (Mosier) at Area 51. He’s been there how many years? And they’re giving him trouble, too,” he said.

Lewis said he continues to look into how he can proceed with the campground and drive-in ventures.

“The camping was never intended to be a 200 or 300 spot campsite. It will be like 20 spots at the most, and will be like dry camping or boondocking, basically,” he said. “It’s just a spot to do it inexpensively. There won’t be sewer. A lot of people questioned that project, too. Once we unveil the full project of it, they’ll see that there’s nothing to be worried about.”

On the drive-in, he said it could become a major undertaking.

“If you want to show current release movies, just the projection equipment alone is like $200,000 or $300,000, if not more,” he said. “Again, I’m not going to spend a half a million dollars needed to do everything to put in a drive-in, and then in a few years the neighbors say, ‘No, we don’t want it anymore,’ and they pull the special use permit.”

Lewis said he hasn’t contacted the planning board to have his referral placed on an agenda yet.

“I’m just regrouping – working with some of my other friends who are small business owners and seeing what kind of collaborations we can do together. I’m just trying to get something going out here so we can use the property and keep improving it,” he said.

As far as the outdoor shooting range is concerned, Lewis said he believes there is “a definite need” and he’s exploring other locations.

“We showed that there was a need for an indoor range like we offer (in Bergen) and I think the same thing – what we could do with an outdoor range, we still want to do,” he said. “We’re looking at properties that are more suited or better for us. If we can find a spot that’s great, we’re going to move forward with it. If anyone has land that could hold a 1,000-yard range, have them call me at (585) 494-0333.”

Previously: All jammed up. Shooting range proposal's lack of progress, commentary irritate Town of Batavia planners

All jammed up. Shooting range proposal's lack of progress, commentary irritate Town of Batavia planners

By Mike Pettinella

Frustration and what seems to be a growing level of mistrust on all fronts have bubbled to the surface over a Brockport businessman’s proposal to develop an outdoor shooting range and entertainment venue on Harloff Road in the Town of Batavia.

Tuesday night’s Batavia Town Planning Board meeting revealed a standstill of Brandon Lewis’ bid to secure a special use permit to own and operate a shooting range for firearms’ training and competition, drive-in theater and small RV park on a 22-acre parcel at 3269 Harloff Road.

According to Planning Board Chair Kathy Jasinski, Lewis has yet to comply to a letter sent to him by the town engineer seeking information necessary for planners to make an informed decision.

“The letter outlined everything he needs to do,” Jasinski said, on the Zoom videoconference session. “He has a lot of reports to prove the safety and all of our questions, he has to answer them. And he has not made any effort yet, so we’ll have to wait until he starts producing the material we need.”

Although the proposal to place a shooting range in the vicinity of Area 51 Motocross was not on the evening’s agenda, it came up right away during the “public comments” portion of the meeting.

Lewis, a Genesee County native and owner of The Firing Pin in Bergen, has been attempting to get town approval for the project since early March, when he gave an overview to the Genesee County Planning Board. Since then, residents living in the area have voiced their opposition while others -- both in and outside of the Town of Batavia -- have reached out to the planning board in support of the project.

Lewis: 'It's a Perfect Location'

Last night, Lewis attempted to address the concerns, primarily safety and noise, of those who live near the Harloff Road site.

He said the RV park will be small, not 130 campers as some people have said, and there will be no hook-ups, sewer or water. He also said hours of operation are negotiable and that all members of the shooting club would be certified range safety officers.

As far as shooting toward the Thruway, he pointed out that Four Points in Spencerport (actually Four Point Rod & Gun Club in Scottsville) customers “shoot directly toward the Thruway as well,” at the same distance, about 1,000 feet.

Lewis then said he believes the topography of the area, which is zoned for outdoor recreation use, is “a perfect location for a shooting range in the town” and meshes with the municipality’s comprehensive plan.

He then questioned the restraints of the special use permit.

“It is very difficult and will continue to be very difficult to get people to invest in businesses in that spot … very, very difficult to have any kind of investment in that area with that type of burden placed, where every year …” he said, before mentioning Area 51 owner Chris Mosier and the need for an annual review of the special use permit.

“He’s put $100,000 in labor alone in that facility. I intend to do the same and it’s going to be very difficult for me to justify that if I’m allowed to do something and then every year I have to fight to allow it to stay open.”

Taking Steps to Reduce the Noise

Lewis acknowledged that noise is a “primary concern,” but said he has several solutions, including planting trees around the perimeter of the property, placing berms in the direction of fire, angling the noise away from homes and putting a rifle’s muzzle into a culvert-type pipe to reduce the noise.

“And we have the safety issue covered (with) protocols and training standards in place, I think that people will see that safety is something that we have covered easily,” he added.

Lewis then asked if he could get copies of residents’ complaints (he was told that he would need to file a Freedom of Information Act request with the town clerk) and if he could stage a one-day event where people could gauge the level of noise generated by conducting sound studies.

Jasinski shot that request down, however, stating that the special use permit was a prerequisite to any formal activity on the property.

“If you want anything to go on your property, you need to follow through with the letter the engineers sent to you,” she said. “You need to start sending us the information, and they outlined that very clearly.”

At that point, Cory Coles, who lives on Pratt Road, brought up that Lewis is “soliciting his customers and others to sign a pre-written letter and sending them to the town, himself” (which later was verified by Jasinski).

“Having people from outside the town and Genesee County sending letters that claim our concerns are not valid is absolutely ridiculous,” Coles said. “… to be told that my concerns are not valid even from somebody 10 miles away is pretty unbelievable to me.”

Coles is opposed due to the noise factor, and said that project supporters are contending that the discharge of firearms in the distance is no different than a blown out tire on the Thruway.

“I’ve been living here for a few years and I can confirm that I do not hear 100 tires blowing out on the Thruway every 15 minutes,” he offered.

Resorting to Name-calling?

Then he reported that comments on The Firing Pin Facebook page and discord server have disparaged nearby residents, with terms such as “idiots, morons and even Nazis.”

“One person going as far to suggest that we all should go out into the middle of I-90, presumably to get run over,” he said, adding that he questions the legitimacy of some of the emails and comments.

Coles said photos of the residence of a sheriff’s deputy who lives in that area were uploaded to the discord server, as well.

“Bottom line is it’s kind of concerning. Mr. Lewis claimed over and over how he wants to be a good neighbor, but I just can’t seem to see where he cares if he does or not,” he said.

After dealing with agenda items (special use permits for a solar system on R. Stephen Hawley Drive and a drive-thru for the new Chipotle restaurant on Veterans Memorial Drive), planners revisited the shooting range proposal.

Paul McCullough said he talked to a neighbor who is “quite concerned with the direction of fire and having Area 51 on one side and the shooting range on the other” and about the hours of operation.

Jasinski reported that Mosier is scheduled to address the board at its next meeting for a review of his special use permit.

Chair Says She Will Monitor the Situation

Another question pertained to Lewis’ right to shoot on the property as the owner, with Jasinski saying that is permitted but he can’t hold events. She then said she would monitor Lewis’ website and Facebook page, and if she heard something was going on there, she would check it out.

In closing, Jonathan Long said the way things are proceeding – or not – is leaving a bad taste in everyone’s mouth.

“It’s a bad first introduction for the neighbors – the property owners that have been in the town for many years,” he said. “The stuff online in my opinion is just not right. But, like you said, he hasn’t addressed any of the issues in the engineer’s letter; he hasn’t really given us a site plan of what he really wants to do, so until that happens, we’ll have to wait on it, I guess.”

The Batavian obtained a copy of the letter from Town Engineer Steve Mountain.

In it, Lewis is required to submit a detailed project description; and existing conditions, potential impacts and mitigation pertaining to the environment, traffic, community character, community facilities, fiscal impacts, land use and zoning, sanitary sewage and water supply, and water resources.

The plan also requires a coordinated review under the State Environmental Quality Review Act because it exceeds 10 acres.

Previously: Residents speak out against proposed outdoor shooting range on Harloff Road in Town of Batavia

Residents speak out against proposed outdoor shooting range on Harloff Road in Town of Batavia

By Mike Pettinella

If the sentiments from people who live in the neighborhood are any indication, Brandon Lewis may be facing an uphill fight to acquire the special use permit he needs to develop an outdoor shooting range on Harloff Road in the Town of Batavia.

Several residents of nearby Kelsey Road and Pratt Road voiced their opinions Tuesday night during a 40-minute public hearing conducted by the Batavia Town Planning Board via Zoom videoconferencing.

Their objections centered upon, primarily, the noise generated by the shooting as well as safety measures, the impact on property values and whether it is a good fit for the area.

Lewis, owner of The Firing Pin indoor shooting club in Bergen, is looking to place an outdoor shooting venue, along with a small movie theater, RV park and other entertainment options, on a 22-acre parcel at 3269 Harloff Road. The property is not far from Area 51 Motocross and the New York State Thruway.

Linda and Tomporowski, of Kelsey Road, said that they don’t object to the concept, but want Lewis to find another location.

'It's Just the Wrong Location'

“It just seems that anytime a new business comes up that is noise-generated, it seems to go up on Harloff Road,” Linda said. “We have Area 51 and we have to deal with that seven days a week, pretty much year round. We were originally told that it was going to be limited, but it has not been that way.

“So, we’re very concerned that if another special use permit goes through, it’s going to become unlimited use again – there’s no enforcement – and that just really does not allow me to enjoy my property.”

She said she considers it a “great proposal” and she isn’t anti-gun or antibusiness.

“I think it’s the right business, but just the wrong location. It’s definitely going to cause undue noise … in a residential-agricultural area.”

Linda then asked the planning board to deny the special use permit “based on the fact that the primary use of this property is a shooting range.”

She also cited sections of the planning board code, mentioning that it calls for “a harmonious relationship between the proposed use and the existing, adjacent uses, and there’s really nothing harmonious for me with a shooting range in my backyard. We’ve heard them shooting before; it’s very clear.”

'There Will be Repetitive Shooting' 

Her husband brought up that Lewis had mentioned conducting shooting drills.

“It’s not just junior shooting daddy’s rifle eight times at a target,” he said. “When he talks about drills, some of the stuff is going to be tactical, which means multiple magazines. Law enforcement officers are exempt from the SAFE Act and they can use 30-round magazines and they will be popping shots – doing all of their drills.”

Jason urged the board to “pull back a little bit” and learn specifically what Lewis is looking to do and address it appropriately at that time.

Rich Schildwaster, also of Kelsey Road, said he is an avid outdoorsman with military experience who doesn’t have an issue with a gun range, but is concerned with “the manner of what they are looking to do out there.”

“He has painted a beautiful picture, he really has,” Schildwaster said. “We’re going to have a movie theater, we’re going to have a fitness center, we’re going to have an RV lot … and various activities. When it comes to a special use permit, I don’t think various activities cut the mustard as far as what he is going to be doing out there.”

Schildwaster said he worries about the safety of residents of a mobile home park beyond the Thruway and reeled off other potential issues such as shooting at night, noise levels, training, size of the RV lot and hours of operation.

'It Will be Intrusive on Property Values'

“I’m not in favor … he’s not quieter than the Thruway and, absolutely, 1.2 miles as the crow flies from that range, I can hear him shooting and his cohort shooting recently over the top of the motorcycles running at the same time at Area 51,” he said. “It will be intrusive on my property and it will be intrusive on the values of all of our properties in the neighborhood.”

Kevin and Paul Heist, both of Pratt Road, followed, with Kevin stating that the daytime shooting hours would affect him as he works from home.

“Also, it seems like the plan is all over the place,” he said, adding that he wanted specifics about the safety protocol since there would be a movie theater on the site. He also requested proper environmental studies be conducted before the project moves forward.

Paul Heist said he lives straight across the Thruway from Area 51 and is troubled about the noise volume.

“I haven’t seen anything that he’s produced as far as hiding the noise. Is there any verification that it works?” he asked.

He also mentioned that he lives next door to the Silver Shoe Farms, which has 10 horses, who are sensitive to their hearing and could be spooked by the gunfire. He then called out the town for not enforcing the excessive noise generated by “cycles with no mufflers” at Area 51.

'Guns are Louder Than Jets'

Cory Coles, of Pratt Road, also requested that the board deny the special use permit.

He said he was aware of some shooting going on there a couple weeks ago, and said that unsuppressed guns are louder than motocross bikes and train horns.

“They say the Thruway is there and Area 51 is there, so it’s already noisy,” he offered. “If that’s the case, why don’t we build an airport there, which is funny, as by the way, passenger jet engines are not as loud as guns are.”

Town Building Inspector Dan Lang said he has received 21 phone calls about the project, covering these similar issues. One of the letters was from Nicole Cable, owner of the horse stable, who has “massive concerns” as some of the horses she tends to are not hers.

'A Great Addition to Batavia'

At that point, Planning Board Chair Kathleen Jasinski read excerpts of three letters in support of Lewis.

The letters stated that the shooting range would:

  • Be a great addition to Batavia, bringing more money to the town, and promoted Lewis as making safety his top priority;
  • Be a nice change and create positive tax revenue, and with the proper rules and regulations, be safe for the neighbors;
  • Be, per the Bergen Planning Board, “a beneficial addition to the Batavia community since The Firing Pin and Mr. Lewis have become an integral part of our community, participating in fundraising events, hosting gun safety, hunting classes and bringing much needed notoriety to our little town.”

Matthew Hume, the architect working with Lewis, concurred.

“I totally understand everybody’s concerns. I also live on Pratt Road, so it’s kind of in my backdoor as well. I’ve worked quite a bit with both Brandon and his father, and I can tell you that their family – they’re incredible people, they’re more than willing to work with the community,” he said. "They’re not looking to make any enemies here, they’re really just looking to provide different alternatives for the community.”

Hume said Lewis welcomes feedback if there are any issues and would be “more than happy to work out the details so that everybody can be happy.”

'Special Use Permit Must be Limited'

Planning Board Member Don Partridge said he wanted to know when the special use permit granted to Area 51 would be reviewed – Jasinski said that is scheduled for May – and then mentioned that he is leaning in favor of Lewis’ permit as long as it is “limited.”

“Hopefully, he will operate it properly and we won’t have any complaints,” Partridge said.

Jason Tomporowski then got back on the call, indicating that if Area 51 wasn’t already there, the shooting range would stand a better chance of being accepted.

“It’s the noise. I’ve had it,” Tomporowski said. “We moved out to the country so I could live in peace, and that’s my big issue. If there’s some way that I can see a plan on how he’s planning on muffling the noise, with barrier walls, earth and tire mounds, something.”

Schildwaster rejoined the conversation, directing a question to Lewis.

“I just wonder if he would be willing to reveal how many people have shot themselves at his facility in Bergen? It’s probably more than one, whether it was fatal or not, how many people have had accidental shootings in his Bergen facility?” Schildwaster asked.

Jasinski said that question wasn’t appropriate for the public hearing, but Schildwaster was undeterred.

“Why wouldn’t that be pertinent to this hearing when he’s bringing a range here and we’re talking about safety? If he’s already operating a range, why wouldn’t that be a question that the town … would have?” Schildwaster replied.

'The Question was Inappropriate'

Jasinski then asked Lewis if he wished to respond.

“I prefer not to only because I am somewhat taken back,” Lewis said. “I understand the nature of the question, but I don’t think that it was asked in a sincere way. I’ll be completely honest and I’m getting a little bit choked up. We did have a suicide at the range (The Firing Pin), which was completely unavoidable.

“I can’t control someone’s actions when they decide to make that decision, so I believe that gentleman knew that. That is the only incident that we’ve ever had in that regard. And I agree with you, chairperson, that that wasn’t appropriate.”

Lewis had opened the public hearing with a brief statement – emphasizing he wishes “to bring a professional, safe training and shooting center to the Town of Batavia, the likes of which really have not been seen in this region.”

“I think it would be quite a draw to the Town of Batavia from shooters and firearms’ enthusiasts, law enforcement, countless groups that would be interested in this type of training from the firearms side alone.”

Jasinski indicated the process of authorizing the special use permit will take some time.

“We’re not doing anything tonight. After this, we will be talking about it and putting it on the agenda. People are welcome to attend our meetings – we have a lot of things to look into,” she said.

Previously: Planners seek specifics about schedule, noise abatement as they contemplate Harloff Road shooting range plan

Planners seek specifics about schedule, noise abatement as they contemplate Harloff Road shooting range plan

By Mike Pettinella

Town of Batavia Planning Board members concur that details – not conceptual drawings, ideas or generalities – ultimately will determine the course of Brandon Lewis’ request for a special use permit to develop an upscale shooting club, along with other entertainment options, on a 22-acre parcel at 3269 Harloff Rd.

On Tuesday night, planners posed several questions to Lewis, owner of The Firing Pin in Bergen, and Matthew Hume, a Batavia architect who drew up the site plan on property not far from Area 51 Motocross and the New York State Thruway.

Lewis kicked off the Zoom meeting with an overview of his plan and ended it – about 50 minutes later – by agreeing to provide specific information pertaining to hours of operation, the level of target practice, and safety measures prior to an April 20 public hearing on the matter.

It was the second time Lewis appeared before the board. He spoke briefly about the project last month following a presentation of his proposal to the Genesee County Planning Board.

Planning Board Chair Kathleen Jasinski advised Lewis that the board and other town officials have received numerous letters from residents about the plan – with some for it and some against it. She said that safety and noise are two of the major concerns.

Along those lines, planner Paul Marchese said it was imperative that Lewis give board members as many details as possible – the who, what, where, when, why and how – in order for them to make the best decision for the town and its residents.

'Carte blanche' is not an option

“You’re going to have to have some defined tasks – for approval or disapproval,” Marchese said. “We can’t give you a blanket, do what you want out there. From your wide scope events, I wouldn’t feel comfortable just giving you carte blanche approval on something that’s not defined – especially for a special use permit.”

Marchese said Area 51 has a set schedule and there isn’t much latitude when it comes to special use permits.

“I think it’s an interesting concept (but I’m) concerned about continual firearms – it’s pretty loud,” he said, also wanting to know what type of guns will be allowed. “I can understand why the neighbors would be concerned.”

Prior to Marchese’s comments, Lewis touted his “professional approach” to the venture, noting that he and his staff have the qualifications and experience to run a safe and successful shooting range. His plan also includes a small drive-in theater and RV park (primarily for overnight guests) and having the property serve as an event venue for concerts and car shows, for example.

Lewis said he believes that the layout and topography of the land, with its hills and berms, are a good fit for the shooting range, which would serve law enforcement personnel, club members and the general population.

“Another (thing we could provide) would be paintball,” he said. “With 22 acres, the way the land is situated, we could easily run paintball out there with the board’s approval. It’s easy to set up – nothing to construct or build – other than the blow up areas that people use for that type of activity.”

Hours of operation a bone of contention

That all seemed well and good to the board, which turned its focus to shooting days and times as well as noise mitigation after Lewis proposed being open seven days a week – possibly from dawn to dusk.

“We’re looking at a mixed model of operation. We’ll be a private club; the shooting range will be a private club,” Lewis said. “Our intent is Monday through Friday during the work week (and) it will only be open to members. To be a member of the club, you have to take a very extensive safety class. You’ll essentially become an NRA (National Rifle Association) … certified range safety officer, and that covers a lot of information.”

Lewis said he would like to pattern the club after the privately owned Rochester Brooks in Rush.

He said the level of staffing would increase on the weekends, much like The Firing Pin.

“You would come down as a member of the public (with) quicker but still extensive safety briefing to get you up to speed,” he said. “When you’re out on the range shooting – under those circumstances -- there will be a range safety officers present within arm’s reach, monitoring everybody and keeping everybody safe.”

At this point, planner Paul McCullough asked about the normal operating hours.

A later start is a possibility

Lewis said that most people target shoot from dawn to dusk, but he would be open to starting later – maybe at 9 or 10 a.m.

“Depending on the interest and the activities that we’re doing, you’re right, it would probably be dusk – especially obviously in the winter months,” he said. “In the summer, we might push that back on certain nights. Doing trap or skeet, a lot of people work until four or five and couldn’t come out until seven or eight o’clock, and we would cut it off at whatever time is required.”

He did add that he would like to be open at night at different times to accommodate law enforcement and civilians who want to practice shooting with low-level light, using a flashlight or other device.

McCullough said his “concern” was the potential of seven days a week with up to 10 hours a day of potential gunfire.

“I would like to know exactly what days and what hours to inform the neighbors,” he said. “Just the constant noise, I think, will be my issue.”

Lewis said he will clearly define the night shooting, especially in the summer, and hoped to be able to schedule it in connection with Area 51 racing that currently is permitted to 11 p.m.

Noise level can be suppressed

“But that would certainly be limited – maybe twice a month. Another thing, going back to the range design, there’s a lot that you can do to try to keep the sound from property as much as you can with different landscaping and physical sound barriers,” he advised.

“As far the long distance ranges where you would be shooting the bigger firearms, there’s a very interesting technique … of using large tires, suspending them from an A frame and you almost make a suppressor outside out of tires … it knocks out a lot of the noise. We’ll have from various shooting positions with the larger firearms, will essentially be shooting from inside of a structure with sound proofing material that will help soak up a lot of that. We fully understand that noise will be a concern and we want to do what we can to alleviate that.”

Partridge then suggested limiting the hours to 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays.

“If we go into that route of limiting your hours, how many times a month would you need, let’s say, to dusk -- twice a month?” Partridge said. “I could see allowing it during the weekdays (that) you’re going to go to dusk twice a month or once a month, but that has to be spelled out in your permit.”

Lewis said he would work with town officials to come up with a plan that works for everybody.

Logistically, Lewis said the land will be divided into several “bays,” taking advantage of the artificial hill that was made when Polar Wave tubing occupied the site.

“We’ll be enhancing with some ballistic rubber (that is) perfectly suitable to use on outdoor range,” he said. “It will make it much safer, increases our berm depth, makes it a much more consistent berm that you can shoot into – and it makes it much easier to clean, which is another huge concern of ours. Obviously, the remediation and keeping tabs on the lead to manage the property without hurting the environment (are important).”

He also pointed out the height of the berms (14 to 16 feet) as a positive thing, but acknowledged that having five different ranges – and modifications for competitions – bring about challenges in defining exactly where those target areas will be at various times.

What about existing gun clubs?

After Building Inspector Dan Lang mentioned that there are other shooting ranges in the Town of Batavia, Lewis asked if they were regulated by special use permits or “grandfathered in.”

Lang said the private club on Hopkins Road has been there for quite some time and wasn’t sure of the process used to sanction it.

“Trap shooting is what they focus on, and they also have private membership (with no limits on the type of firearms),” Lang said. “They’ve always had that set schedule, and we haven’t gotten any complaints. It’s gone through that cycle already.

“This being a new proposal, there is a lot more involved with it. Some of the tactical stuff and the training, I think is as important as anything. But would they be considered grandfathered in? Yes.”

Hume added that members of the Hopkins Road club can shoot anytime of the day, and noted that they schedule special events on specific days.

As far as Lewis’ proposal, Hume said that even though they may be open seven days a week, there won’t be shooting for 24 hours.

“Sometimes you get that guy that has a little time during the day … and I think that is what Brandon is trying to provide to his members as well. He doesn’t want to have to say you can only go there on Thursday afternoon at 3 p.m., and that’s it,” Hume said.

The more information, the better

Town Engineer Steve Mountain reiterated the need for Lewis to be “as descriptive as you possibly can at this time on operations and how things are controlled.”

“The concept site plan layout is good but there is so much more information that the planning board is going to need before ultimately making a decision,” Mountain said.

Jasinski then advised Lewis to prepare for the April 20th public hearing, adding that no decision will be made at that meeting although all letters and emails sent to the planning board will be shared at the hearing.

“We will just listen to the comments and we will work as fast as you can get the information to us,” she said.

In the long term, Lewis said he would like to see the shooting range succeed and eventually find “another home for it” as the other uses at the venue take hold.

“I don’t want to say it’s a means to an end (as) the shooting range is where our base is and have the most support. I do see the need for it and certainly believe in it, and I do think the property is very well suited for it. So, I definitely see getting a lot of support from our already established customer base for that use,” he offered. “Again, maybe to help us develop a better one down the road and some of these other uses can really take over and use the property. I’d be completely fine with that.”

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

Previously: Developer: Outdoor shooting range, drive-in theater will offer 'healthy, family activity'

File photo: Brandon Lewis at The Firing Pin, 2018.

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