(TX) Development could threaten firearms dealer


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Drizzt
March 5, 2003, 06:49 PM
Development could threaten firearms dealer

By Bill O'Connell
Seguin Gazette

Published March 04, 2003

SEGUIN — Owners of a private rifle range are worried that a proposed housing development could spell doom for their livelihood.

Seguin City Council is scheduled to consider a zoning request at a public meeting today to clear the way for Falcon Meadow, a planned 600-unit residential development on nearly 124 acres of land on State Highway 46 about one mile north of Interstate 10.

KDF Inc., which operates a 100-yard shooting range used to test the accuracy of customers’ firearms, has been in business at its location in the 2400 block of N. State Highway 46 since 1969, owner Jan Koehne said.

The prospect of children from Falcon Meadow wandering onto the adjacent KDF property has raised concerns among developers, officials at City Hall and owners of the custom gunsmith business.

“If you’re going to put up 600 houses, you’re raising the possibility of something happening,” Koehne said. “I’m certainly willing to work with the developer to make sure we don’t have children enter our property and come into harm’s way. That would be a terrible catastrophe.”

KDF was brought into the Seguin city limits in the mid-1980s through annexation. In the nearly 20 years that KDF has operated in the city, Seguin officials have yet to field a complaint about the discharge of firearms at the business, which is prohibited by municipal ordinance.

“Consequently there have never been any official action or grandfathering of activities there,” Seguin Planning Director Don Smith said.

Falcon Meadow developers have raised concerns about a lack of fencing at the KDF property, which has a man-made berm to prevent fired rounds from escaping the site.

“It’s an issue that’s being addressed. I’m not sure what the city’s position will be,” Falcon Meadow project manager Donald Griffin said.

Nothing prevents the city from ordering KDF to shut down the gun range.

“Cities do have the authority to regulate the discharge of firearms,” Smith said.

The Seguin Planning and Zoning Commission unanimously approved recommendation of the zoning change request in February, and in doing so noted that “there is a safety concern,” according to city records. While city officials say no action against KDF has begun, Koehne said she and her husband, Phil, are wary about the future of their business in Seguin.

“It would be impossible to carry out our business if we can’t use the shooting range,” Jan Koehne said.

Seguin City Council will consider a number of other items at today’s meeting.

The council will consider a request by Seguin ISD to approve a zoning change to allow construction of a bus maintenance and parking facility on a 6-acre vacant lot in the 1000 block of East Seideman Street. A recommendation on the zoning change request was approved unanimously by the Planning and Zoning Commission.

City leaders will consider approving a request for $900,000 to partially fund the construction of two water wells on property in Gonzales County owned by the Schertz-Seguin Local Government Corporation as part of the SSLGC’s 37-mile water pipeline delivering water to both cities. The SSLGC does not have the money necessary to build the wells, according to municipal documents. Total cost of engineering and construction of the wells is estimated at $2.1 million.

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Blackhawk
March 5, 2003, 06:59 PM
Obviously a small town paper, but annexation and developments definitely mess things up for some businesses.

Greybeard
March 5, 2003, 07:18 PM
Good fences make good neighbors. History elsewhere tells me it will take much more than a fence. :(

pax
March 5, 2003, 07:29 PM
I've got $5 that I'm willing to bet that within five years, if that proposed housing development goes in, there will be at least five homeowners willing to sign petitions to force the business to:

1) limit the hours of shooting and/or

2) implement lead abatement procedures.

Probably both.

pax

What is the use of straining after an amiable view of things, when a cynical view is most likely to be the true one? -- George Bernard Shaw

Blackhawk
March 5, 2003, 11:11 PM
I'll bet that within five years that the range is shut down, then the EPA will sue the owners to do a lead cleanup. :(

Greybeard
March 6, 2003, 09:14 AM
In rereading the original post, I suspect the range may be used primarily to zero scopes mounted on customer's guns. If that IS the case, I doubt the hours would have to change a lot. Also, there should not be a huge amount of lead in the berm. Problem there is when water can run off into another party's creek or such.

Again, just guessing here, but if they allowed any John Q. Public to walk in off the street, plop down $10 and go start shooting, the city would have done something long ago. I'm somewhat surprised the owner did not seek (or should have) some type of "grandfathered" protection.

' Trying to be optimistic :) for these folks. But, then again, it may be lawyer time. :(

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