Zoning OK’d for police firing range

COLUMBIANA

Property for a new gun training range for the city’s police department was granted the required conditional zoning use from the planning commission this week.

The commission approved the request after hearing from three residents during a public hearing.

Residents Erik Linebaugh, Carolyn Roble and Robert Struharik had a few questions about the range, with Linebaugh wondering if the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had any issues with the land targeted for the range.

The city is looking to transform a small piece of property off Metz Road into an outdoor range. The land is currently zoned agricultural open space conservation (AOC) and is part of the property where the old water plant is located and is not near any homes.

The conditional zoning permit is required due to the AOC designation.

City Manager Lance Willard said the EPA was contacted and the agency had no problems with the land.

Roble was concerned about the amount of noise the range would make and Struharik wondered if the city had spoken to the baseball association, since the baseball fields are also located in that area.

Struharik’s question was not answered, but Willard has said in the last month that the range would be built in such a way to avoid noise for surrounding property owners and that range hours would be restricted to late morning and early afternoon.

The practice range will be used by the department’s 13 full-time and five part-time officers.

Police Chief Tim Gladis has said a local range will save the department time and money since officers would no longer have to drive to Lisbon to use the county sheriff’s department gun range.

In other business, the commission approved:

— A site plan review for Josh Ineman to open a cotton candy manufacturing facility at the former Naughton Plumbing building at 235 S. Main St.

— A site plan review for Jacob Sevek to open a barber shop at 131 N. Main St., formerly Columbiana Massage.

— A site plan review for George Berick and Robert Schwartz to open a Century 21 Real Estate sales office at 235 S. Main St. Berick, Century 21 owner/manager, said he wants the office to function as a destination spot, and described it as similar to a bistro. The location will also feature art shows and other community events, he said.

The company is hoping for a spring grand opening.

Berick also said the company recently completed the purchase of Gallagher Clark and Carney in the city and is eyeing the purchase of another firm to boost its commercial real estate.

kwhite@mojonews.com

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