Stark County Commissioners Tuesday approved a zoning change and special use permit for a proposed indoor shooting range.

Dickinson Indoor Ranges LLC owner Edward Dick plans to create a shooting range, with archery range and paintball course, at 3650 116th Ave. SW, northwest of Patterson Lake.

Concerns were voiced Tuesday about safety and security at the range.

"There's a neighbor to the south whose house is just to the south of it, and he had some concerns about, with the shooting range being there, whether there would be any stray rounds," County Planner Steve Josephson said.

Paul Kessel, neighboring proprety owner, opposed having a firing range near residences.

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"I'm an advocate of hunting and shooting. Just felt like, as a long time resident of our county and community, there's so many other places that I thought would have been better than 100 feet from my place," he said. "It's far too close to a residential neighborhood."

Dick explained that the range must be built to federal specifications.

"There are many regulations. (U.S. Army) Corps of Engineers has some major stipulations," he said. "The rounds are never going to get outside."

Dick pledged to construct an eight foot concrete wall along the southern property and move the indoor shooting range as far north on the property as possible.

Terry Taylor, a neighboring property owner, voiced concerns about the paintball course.

"When you go paintball shooting, people have to wear safety glasses, lots of protection. Well, how about for the people who live 100 feet away, or even 200 yards away?" he said. "There's already six private residences within a quarter mile of this proposed building."

He added, "I think it would be a wonderful aseet to the county. I just think it's too close to the residential."

There were also concerns about starting a commercial enterprise amid a residential area.

Sandra Kuntz, a county planning & zoning commission member, approved recommending the applications Thursday, but spoke Tuesday about her concerns.

Kuntz said the board was told that the area was trending toward commercial development, but found only a few properties had changed zoning and not in the last six years.

"I don't believe we got quite as much information as would have been helpful," she said. "The properties that have actually developed commercially is limited to one."

She added, "This area is entirely residential at this pont."

Kuntz said, had she known, she would not have supported the project's applications.

Josephson defended his recommendation.

"I did present the pattern south of Highway 10," he said. "Also that the city had approved the commercial planned unit development to the north of Exit 56, and that the county had participated in a West Dickinson study that came out with a future land use map that plotted that area as being an area for future commercial developments."

He added, "The entitlements are there."

Commissioners Ken Zander and Pete Kuntz voted against the zoning change and special use permit.