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Neighbors Divided Over Shooting Range

A community in Henderson County is divided over a proposed shooting range. The land off Lane Road in Dana has been the unlicensed site where law enforcement and private gun owner can practice. Now, the county is requiring the proper permits.

Henderson County's Technical Review Committee unanimously approved the plan this week. Now, they're recommending some limitations to get more people on board.

"I've spent 33 years in the military, so I've operated a number of marksmanship ranges and record qualifications ranges for small arms weapons," says AJ Ball, the property manger for Oleta Falls in Henderson County. "And this thing is louder than, or as loud as, anything I experienced in the military."

The Oleta Falls community is one of several neighborhoods near the Flat Rock Gun Range worried about its impacts. Aside from noise complaints, residents are worried the range will discourage new home-buyers from coming to their community.

"As real estate agents hear about the situation with the gun range, they're hesitant to bring people out here and they have to reveal to them that there is a potential for a gun range in the area," says Ball.

The 84-acre range off Lane Road has been the subject of a petition circulating he neighborhood.

"We've met with folks and gotten emails and letters," says Toby Linville, Henderson County Code Enforcer. "We started getting complaints in March."

But, not all neighbors are up in arms. Jeff Marlar says he's closer to the property than anyone else, but it doesn't bother him.

"I think if they have fun with it, more power to them," says Marlar. "Really, if they enjoy it and they're not hurting anybody- and they're obviously not- let them do it."

Marlar says he doesn't believe the group of neighbors which opposes the shooting range outnumbers those who either are in favor of or are indifferent to it.

The Zoning Board will decide whether to approve a special use permit to the Flat Rock Gun Range at a meeting at the historic courthouse on August 27th. County officials are expecting a bigger attendance on both sides of the issue.

By: Hope Hanselman
Follow Hope on Twitter @HopeNews13


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