Target: Member of Goochland County Board of Supervisors Susan F. Lascolette
Goal: To prevent development of excessive commercial shooting ranges within Goochland County.
The Goochland County Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors are considering the allowance of a conditional use permit that would allow a sporting clay range to be built within Orapax Farm. This would be a mistake, however. While they do have the authority to grant such conditional use permits for gun ranges, the board has thus far wisely elected to not issue any.
Considering a break in this policy by allowing with the Orapax Farm range would be a mistake. This range would allow residential neighborhoods to be negatively impacted by both noise and environmental pollution. The result of this would be a severe negative impact on property values which would undermine those currently living in surrounding neighborhoods. Beyond the impact of the range itself, a precedent will also be set should the clay shooting range at Orapax Farm receive its permit. The notion of having already allowed one sporting clay range on land zoned A1 and A2 (which comprises over 275 acres of Goochland County) would make it difficult to deny future applications. The spread of these on such a level would drastically harm the county’s overall outlook.
Properties adjacent to Orapax were already hit with lowered assessments before the sporting clay range ever received its permit. If the shooting range came to pass an even greater property radius would be impacted. It is understandably a difficult decision given the pressure from shooting clubs in the nearby greater Richmond area, but one that the board must remain steadfast with.
Goochland County must be allowed to remain free of commercial shooting ranges. For the good of its citizens, the Orapax Farm sporting clay shooting range and any other future sites seeking a similar permit must be denied.
Dear Board Member Lascolette,
The idea that a conditional use permit that would allow a sporting clay range within Goochland County is even being considered is a faulty notion as this would only cause harm to the area. Unfortunately it now appears very possible that such a permit will be granted to allow a sporting clay range to be built at Orapax Farm. Until now the Goochland County Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors have wisely chosen not to allow any form of commercial shooting range despite having the authority to grant such permits for any of the A1 and A2 zoned areas (comprising 275) within the county.
This established precedent of preventing commercial shooting ranges in the area must be continued. Should the range come to pass property values would plummet as residents are subjected to noise pollution from firearms as well as the risk of lead pollution from the ammunition that is discharged. An example of this can already be witnessed as the county assessor recently lowered the value of several properties directly adjacent to Orapax Farm.
Pressure from shooting clubs in the nearby greater Richmond area must not be allowed to sway the board’s decision. Goochland County residents must not be negatively impacted so that those in the Richmond area can reap the benefits. There is a reason Richmond County has not given these clubs a shooting range in their own county; the nuisance to the rest of the population is simply not worth it.
Goochland County’s Board of Supervisors must do the right thing and stop this shooting range from being built. The precedent for allowing it could have an ultimately disastrous effect as it would compel the county to allow additional ranges. Stop this problem before it can begin and withdraw consideration for allowing a sporting clay range at Orapax Farm.
[Your Name Here]