Wellington Twp. bans outdoor commercial gun ranges and provides conditions for indoor commercial ranges

By Catherine Gabe - cgabe@civitasmedia.com

Outdoor commercial gun ranges will be prohibited throughout Wellington Township, according to new resolutions drafted by the zoning commission.

The language was adopted at the zoning commission meeting Tuesday, Jan. 12.

At the same meeting it was determined that indoor commercial gun ranges will be conditionally permitted. They will be considered a conditional use in highway business, light industrial, and flood plain areas in highway business districts.

Definitions of indoor and outdoor ranges, with exchange of money or something of value, will also be added to the zoning book.

The recommendations and language will be sent on to township trustees for their approval.

The issue arose from an Amherst gun club’s plans for trap and skeet shooting on a Pitts Road property. Neighbors organized as the Wellington Township Citizens Group to try to stop the gun club from operating in a residential district.

But the zoning resolution won’t impact the Amherst Sportsman Club because it is a club rather than a business, said Steve Majesky of the WTCG. So the club and the citizens group have yet to iron out their disputes.

However, Majesky did withdraw an appeal he had filed in the Lorain County Court of Common Pleas. He had lodged a complaint seeking to overturn a decision by the Wellington Township board of zoning appeals, in which the zoning inspector ruled that trap shooting by six or fewer persons did not violate rules for land zoned residential or agricultural.

“Rather than fighting it out in court we decided to work with the Amherst Sportsman Club to find a resolution,” Majesky said.

Any agreement drafted will be between the Amherst Sportsman Club and the township, said club member John Gelenius. He declined to discuss details since they are now being negotiated.

Majesky said he was happy with the new zoning resolution because “we want to make sure no other types of shooting ranges would, in the future, encroach on Wellington Township.”

Catherine Gabe can be reached at 440-647-3171 or @ReporterGabe on Twitter.

By Catherine Gabe