Lakewood Ranch Shooting Range Nears Approval
The Ancient Oak Gun Club will open off of State Road 64, not far from the Center Montessori School's outdoor campus. The public has until 5 p.m. Thursday to comment on the proposal.
The developer of Lakewood Ranch's first shooting range has pledged to develop the facility soon, now that Manatee County officials indicated they expect to issue a special permit for the gun club to operate, according to the Bradenton Herald.
The proposed gun club, at 16800 State Road 64, is not far from the outdoor campus of Center Montessori School, according to the Sarasota Herald Tribune.
The business, a "sporting clay gun club," is an acceptable use for the site, which is a sod farm that is more than 500 acres.
Manatee County is in the process of drafting a special permit for the gun club to operate and will accept public comment on the proposal until 5 p.m. Thursday.
Final approval is expected March 21, if no objections are raised about the club's operation. The developer has said it will take just about a month to build the shooting range.
"Twenty-four shooting stations built from treated lumber stand empty on the 80-acre site. Each station has two large round hay bales that conceal $3,500 trap machines, holding 400 clay pigeons each. The machines run off solar power."
Staff at the Montessori school told the Bradenton Herald that they are taking a wait-and-see attitude toward their new neighbor, though teachers and parents already raised concerns with county officials about safety and the noise of gunshots:
"I think we just need to go forward with what it is, and try and go in with an open mind," said middle school director Robin Edidin. "They are our neighbors as well, so we'll get a chance to observe the sound issue and talk to them more about screening and hope they'll be willing to consider it. I know some parents are scared about this, but I don't think the guns are an issue at the range except for the noise."
The Ancient Oak Gun Club is being developed by Schroeder-Manatee Inc.
"We'd like to be in a position to be operating the site as soon as we can get the permits to be able to do so. It's going to be full steam ahead in compliance with all the rules and regulations."
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