September 8, 2021 – West Bend, WI – Should West Bend allow an indoor or outdoor shooting range within the city limits?
The Plan Commission discussed the issue Tuesday night focusing on safety, noise, and the marketability of surrounding properties in the industrial park.
Commissioner Jed Dolnick is a former Police Chief in the Village of Jackson and a former deputy with the Washington County Sheriff’s Department. “I have no problem with the indoor range at all, the outdoor range I have a problem with,” he said.
“We tell people when you live in the City you can’t do certain occupations if you want to do that we tell people to move to the township. It is inconsistent to say, ‘it’s ok to have an outdoor range within the city limits with the pop, pop, pop of the ammunition.'”
Dolnick said he can’t envision where, within the city limits, an outdoor range would “be appropriate.”
Commissioner Bernie Newman questioned whether an outdoor range would have to be approved by the DNR and if there were any cities comparable to the size of West Bend, Wi that had an outdoor range.
West Bend Director of Development Mark Piotrowicz said he did not find any outdoor ranges located in an urban environment.
Commissioner Bryce Gannon echoed Dolnick’s concerns regarding noise for an outdoor range but he indicated he was “ok with an indoor range.”
Commissioner Sara Fleischmann also took issue with the noise at an outdoor range.
Piotrowicz said, “If you wish to consider outdoor ranges then I would make provision for that. If you don’t believe they’re appropriate then you would be shutting the door on any future requests.”
More study will be done on the issue and a public hearing will be held at a future date.
While nobody from USCCA spoke, two members of the organization were in the audience at the meeting. They declined to comment on record.
What are your thoughts on an outdoor shooting range within the city limits of West Bend, WI?
The Plan Commission also gave the green light to remodel plans at the former Skate Country, 1950 N. Main Street, as it changes to the new location of the Habitat for Humanity ReStore. The biggest discussion point was the slats in the Cyclone fencing at the rear of the building. The designer, Adam Hertel with American Architectural Group, Inc. said it was an easy fix to meet code.
The Plan Commission also voted to approve rezoning approximately 4.2 acres of land at the northeast corner of N. Forest Avenue and E. Water Street and at the southeast corner of S. Forest Avenue and E. Water Street from M-2 Heavy Industrial District to MXD Mixed Use District, by City of West Bend. The parcel on the southeast corner is home to West Bend Transit.
The Plan Commission also approved a site plan for façade renovations at the Boardroom and Garden Lounge, 254 and 258 N. Main Street. Owner Jeremy Hahn is going to install a pair of garage doors to bring more light and visibility inside the Garden Lounge.
Hahn said construction will start as soon as they secure a building permit.