Shooting range debate stirs emotions in Goochland

GOOCHLAND COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) -  A planning commission meeting in Goochland Thursday night brought out plenty of passion. More than 100 people showed up to speak about a plan to build a clay shooting range off of Route 6 – about a mile away from several homes.

Andrew Dykers, who owns a hunting preserve called Orapax, filed for the conditional use permit last month. His son, Tom, represented Orapax at the meeting.

“This application is reasonable, in light of all the facts,” Dykers said to the planning commission members. “We produced sound studies that were produced not recently, but they are still valid, and it was performed by an outside company.”

The Dykers want the range open from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., seven days a week.

“We can negotiate, but we would like the weekend because that’s when people are out of work,” Dykers said.

Some of those people who spoke in favor of the range were “gun-rights” supporters. Opponents were mostly homeowners who said the noise associated with a sporting clays range would disrupt their lives and reduce their property value.

“My husband has post traumatic stress disorder,” said Lorna Mitchell who spoke out against the range. “My concern is that an increase in gunfire, well, I don’t know what the result is going to be.”

At the end of the four-hour meeting, the Goochland Planning Commission deferred making a decision and requested a noise test be administered on the Dykers’ property.

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