MOCKSVILLE — The Davie County Board of Adjustment voted unanimously Wednesday night to deny a special-use permit sought by a former military man who proposed building a shooting range/paramilitary center.
“It would be averse to public health and safety,” said chairman Wayne Webb in summing up a motion to deny the application. “It would not be in conformity with the surrounding area, and it would not be in harmony with Davie County’s general use plan.”
Wednesday’s meeting was a continuation of a five-hour public hearing last week which filled to capacity an auditorium in the Brock Performing Arts Center and spilled over into an adjacent gymnasium.
Neighbors and nearby property owners banded together to oppose a plan presented by Kirk and Christina Peavy, the owners of Recoil Management Academy LLC, to build a large gun range and training center on roughly 40 acres of a 138-acre tract they own in the Sheffield community in western Davie County.
Opponents lined up last week to talk about safety issues, fears about declines in property values, noise and environmental pollution and incursions into a quiet, rural lifestyle.
A presentation by Bill Massencup, a neighbor and a retired Winston-Salem police officer about the department’s decision in 2003 to close a police firing range in Clemmons over safety concerns, made an impression with at least one board member.
“What I struggle the most with is (proponents) saying that it does not endanger health and public safety,” said board member Marty Carter. “We had (Massencup) here, and he’s an expert talking about it being a danger to the neighborhood in Clemmons.”
The board discussed various issues for less than an hour before making its decision and considered evidence about such things as the effects on property values and noise presented at the public hearing.
“Every property owner has the right to use his property as he sees fit,” Webb said, “as long as it doesn’t injure anyone else.”
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