Firing range fears linger among Wellington Township Citizens Group members

By Kelsey Leyva -

Concerns persist that a firing range will be built on 52 acres along Pitts Road in Wellington Township.

The Wellington Township Citizens Group has expressed fears to trustees about how the Amherst Sportsman Club will use its property.

The group plans to present those fears at the next township meeting on Oct. 6. The board of zoning appeals will then meet Oct. 7 to continue the discussion.

WTCG spokesman Steve Majesky said his group isn’t convinced the club won’t build a shooting range in the future. He said the group has collected more than 140 signatures from local residents who oppose the idea of a firing range.

“The zoning resolution is very clear about what is permitted,” Majesky said. “We want the zoning inspector to observe the zoning resolution as it’s stated,” Majesky said.

He believes the zoning laws have been misinterpreted. According to the zoning resolution, the area is an agricultural residential district.

Zoning inspector Bill Brown said there’s nothing in the resolution that would prevent the club from building a shooting range if it wanted to.

“It doesn’t say you can but it doesn’t say you can’t either,” he said. “The problem is we’re not exactly sure what they’re trying to appeal.”

Brown said most of the concerns revolve around the amount of noise a firing range would generate, to say nothing of stray bullets.

Charlie Deleha of the sportsman club said the citizens group’s concerns about a firing range are invalid.

“That’s not going to happen,” he said. “Not even in the future.”

He said only about three people even go on the property to hunt at one time. The only thing other than the deer stands that might be built on the property is a storage barn.

Majesky said he believes there’s room for compromise if hunting is truly the only activity the club plans to use the land for.

“If they only intend to use it for hunting then they won’t have any problem entering into a formal agreement,” he said.

Kelsey Leyva can be reached at 440-647-3171 or @TWE_KelseyLeyva on Twitter.

By Kelsey Leyva