Mounds View updating city code on firing guns in city

Move would make way for gun range.

 

The Mounds View City Council saw another packed public comment section Feb. 12 as residents weighed in on a proposed gun range at Crossroad Pointe, and the city code changes need to make it happen.

The Mounds View Economic Administration and developer INH Properties struck a preliminary economic development agreement on Jan. 23, giving the developer a year to finalize its proposal and present it to the city. Early plans are for a gun range and apartments at the intersection of Mounds View Boulevard and County Road H2. 

More than a dozen people came to speak for and against the plans at the Jan. 23 council meeting.

The council was back to discussing amending the city code regarding shooting guns in the city on Feb. 12, and unanimously passed the first reading of changes to the code regulating the possession and discharge of weapons. Other amendments were made so any shooting must be in regulated facilities — such as a gun range — that are approved by the council, according to Mounds View Community Development Supervisor Jon Sevald.

If the amendments are adopted by the council, the developer’s plans for the gun range will “move forward,” said Sevald, though the plans will still need to go through other processes, like rezoning and a review of the project’s buildings and their intended use. 

Before the council vote on the first reading of the code amendment, people were permitted to speak. Resident Scott Schaffer said amending the ordinance before project proposals are finalized is “jumping the gun.”

Council member Sherry Gunn said, over the course of considering a project proposal, the council may discover an ordinance is out of date and move to update it. “Thus the amendment and the cleaning up of this ordinance is happening.”

Amending or updating city code “doesn’t necessarily guarantee” the city will have a gun range, said Mayor Carol Mueller, adding the developers don’t have concrete plans yet. 

Residents in favor of the gun range said it would be an economic boost for the city, drawing shooting enthusiasts from around the area. Gun range detractors shared concerns over safety and disrupting community continuity. 

Resident Steve Chambers said he went to “at least 60 doors” and the steadfast gun range opposition he found, he told the council, would “just blow your socks off.”

Jerry Shores said he’s picked up the hobby of black powder shooting and he’d appreciate a local gun range. However, he also touched on a new sticking point: vaporized lead discharged when firing a weapon. 

“I cannot have my own children because of this,” Ann Zierdt said of the effects of chemicals like lead. “All the people that live around there are kids. You come out of that range you have that dust on you. You sit down at Moe’s and I sit down after you. It’s the continued exposure that concerns me.”

The next step for the ordinance amendments will be revision by the city attorney before they’re presented at the Feb. 26 council meeting for a public hearing. 


 

— Solomon Gustavo

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