April 3, 2012
The Albemarle County Planning Commission plans to move forward with the proposed new firing range for public safety training. The old Keene Landfill would be re-purposed as a firing range for police officers in Albemarle County.
The police department says they need the facility to train. They currently train at the Rivanna Rifle and Pistol Club but say it's too hard to coordinate everyone's schedules and there are some limitations.
"With us in control of the range, we can set it up the way we want to set it up, schedule it they way we want to schedule it. We can build it specifically for the police department," explains Captain John Parrent.
The 170 acre site would include a firing range, a classroom building, parking and road access. The firing range would have 12 firing lanes but could expand to 24. Outdoor law enforcement training would also be done. The Albemarle County Sheriff's Office, Albemarle County Police Department and Charlottesville Police Department all plan to use the space.
Planning Commission Board Member Mac Lafferty says there is a lot of good with the proposal. "When you look at it, it's a remote location. The county already owns it and it's an ideal place to have a firing range. The only draw back is the potential noise," Lafferty explains.
And the noise is a concern for neighbors living along Fortune Lane. Richard Morris says he worries about that and the increased traffic. He adds, he lives there for the peaceful environment. "With the increase in traffic, with the potential of hearing gunfire up the road, that could change. This is a nice, quiet, peaceful environment to be in and I'd hate to see that go away."
Lafferty says the noise is a concern, however he says it would not violate the noise ordinance because the facility would be for public use.