Shooting range plan withdrawn
Plans for an outdoor shooting range and paintball course just outside Woodstock city limits have been withdrawn after two meetings with the McHenry County Zoning Board of Appeals.
The ZBA met April 26 to discuss the plan for the second time, but had ongoing concerns over the petitioners request for a special-use permit.
Dominic DeBock, owner of Marengo Gun and Coins, was asking for a conditional-use permit to put in a trap shooting range, pistol range, paintball course, miniature golf course and retail center at the now defunct Deer Run driving range along Route 120. The business, which was introduced under the name McHenry County Sportsman’s Center, also would have included an archery range. Of the 90-acre site, only about nine acres were to be used for the listed activities.
Both the ZBA and members of the public had concerns over the proposal. Officials from the city of Woodstock and village of Bull Valley also expressed opposition to the plan. Most of the concerns centered around noise. During an April 19 meeting, DeBock presented a self-conducted sound study using a decibel reader. The study did little to dispel fears about the sound of gunshots intruding on nearby residents. ZBA members suggested DeBock have a professional sound study completed, but the petition was withdrawn without one being conducted.
Other repeated concerns included safety and environmental impacts the shooting range could create.
Under the proposal, there would have been five trap stations, allowing for a total of 25 shooters at a time. The pistol range would have been 80-feet wide and about 90 feet long and surrounded by 12-foot berms on all sides, though some of the measurements may have needed to change to conform to county standards. The roughly 1.5-acre paintball site was to be located in a highly wooded area at the corner of the property and would have been covered with a mesh screen, which would not allow paintballs to exit the space.
Under the proposal, DeBock said the club would have been open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. The pistol range was to allow handguns and rifles of handgun caliber. The trap-shooting range would have allowed a maximum of a 12-gauge shotgun.