In what can only be described as a “surprise move,” Boise coppers have decided to not appeal the city planning and zoning board’s recent denial of a permit to expand the shooting range in the foothills off Reserve Street. A police commander had previously declared the department exempt from the zoning and vowed to appeal the decision.
The GUARDIAN had been critical of the acquisition process which included a convoluted three way land swap.
They had proposed a $1.3 million modernization of the range, but met stiff opposition from neighbors. Here is the official press release on the decision:
PRESS RELEASE TEXT
The Boise Police Department today announced that it will not appeal or seek reconsideration of a recent Planning and Zoning Commission denial of a Conditional Use and Hillside Development permit to remodel the City-owned shooting range at 1800 N. Mountain Cove Road. Instead, the department will review its improvement plans for the shooting range, meet with neighborhood representatives, trail users and other stakeholders, and return with a modified plan. The department doesn’t anticipate submitting a new application for a year or longer.
Police will continue to use the shooting range in its present form for organized and supervised police firearms training exercises.
The previous proposal sought to improve and modernize the training facility, including measures to increase safety, reduce noise and make the facility more compatible with its surroundings. Neighborhood concerns were raised, with many believing the project to be an expansion and incompatible with the popular trail use in the area.
“There has been a lot of misunderstanding about the nature of our proposal,” Boise Police Deputy Chief William Bones said. “So rather than try to push something through without neighborhood support, the department would like to regroup, review our proposal, talk to neighbors, then come back with a new proposal.”
The current facility houses 35 established shooting lanes and an additional seven informal lanes for a total of 42 active shooting lanes. The proposed remodel would have reduced the total number of lanes to 38. Additionally, the 3,000 square-foot clubhouse would have been eliminated and replaced with a 2,000 square-foot range control office, resulting in a net reduction of 1,000 square-feet. The footprint of the facility would be unchanged.
At the direction of the Chief Michael Masterson, the range usage will be in voluntary compliance with the range operation hours negotiated with the neighbors – from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. weekdays (excluding legal holidays) and two weekends each month. Boise Police will make the shooting range training schedule available to neighbors, including the two weekends each month when the range is not is use.
Now the big question is: WILL THE $1.3 MILLION NOT SPENT ON THE RANGE BE RETURNED TO THE CITIZENS?
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