A Shiloh resident has asked village administrators what it would take to create a shooting range in town.
Village Administrator John Marquart said the resident, whose name was not disclosed, has requested information about creating a potential shooting range in a wooded area located south of the railroad tracks and K and K Road and east of North Green Mount Road.
On Monday night, the village’s planning commission discussed this inquiry and agreed the land, which is currently zoned residential, would have to be rezoned light industrial.
Marquart said no one is announcing plans to establish any gun ranges in the village, and officials have not received any applications. He said administrators are just being proactive.
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“We want to be on the front end of things,” Marquart said. “We had this inquiry, and we thought we would want to get ahead of the curve, if the inquiry become more official or faded away. If we get something else that is related to this, we needed proper zoning for this use.”
Marquart also said the land mentioned in the inquiry is currently zoned R3, the village’s “most liberal residential zoning” classification. He said the zoning change would require a special use permit through public hearings. The special use classification would give the board authority to set a standard relating to a proposed shooting range’s hours, signage, screening and sound issues.
“There was no project that was discussed,” Marquart said. “What was discussed was the use of shooting range, given if we did receive an official application for that use and where it would be.”
Mayor Jim Vernier was not at the meeting but said there has been talk at past planning commission meetings about establishing a needed indoor shooting range for local law enforcement and military personnel. He said one idea that has been discussed is building an indoor shooting range through a joint venture with Scott Air Force Base and the city of O’Fallon.
“There has been talk and in some planning and long-range planning with Scott Air Force Base and neighboring communities in the area that this is something we could do together to save taxpayers money,” Vernier said. “It is really needed for our law enforcement agencies to train in, and so there was talk about a possibility that was something we could do together and create a great training facility for law enforcement and military police and active duty military.”
Contact reporter Will Buss at email@example.com or 618-239-2526.