A local businessman got the answer he was expecting while laying the groundwork for what he hopes will become Ardmore’s newest attraction. An indoor shooting range.
“My main goal is to have an indoor gun range,” Jason Smith, owner of J&L Properties said. “I was testing the waters to see if they would allow the outdoor range.”
Smith unsuccessfully petitioned Ardmore City Commissioners for a change in zoning for a 10-acre plot of land on South Commerce, approximately 2,280 feet north of Highway 70, from commercial corridor to heavy industrial. Had the proposal been accepted, Smith planned to use the outdoor range to secure funding for an indoor range among other developments for the property. Smith said he chose the location specifically for its lack of development.
“There is nothing on this side of (south) Commerce,” Smith said. “There is nothing out here but cattle and it’s been that way for 40 years, and I don’t expect that to change.”
An adjacent property owner requested the commission deny the request, recounting his experiences with the property prior to the city enacting ordinances against discharging fire arms within city limits.
Jessica Scott, director of development services, said the change in zoning notates what would be considered as a nuisance from heavy industry from noise pollution and general safety issues associated with heavy industrial business.
“It’s just not the right position in our opinion,” Scott said adding that the city planning commission voted to deny the request as well.
“By definition, by needing that zoning, it makes it somewhat of a nuisance. I’m not opposed to a gun range, I’d personally prefer an indoor range,” Vice Mayor Sherri Ellis said. “Typically, you don’t see heavy industrial as the gateway for the city, which is what Commerce is; that was one of my biggest concerns.”
The area surrounding the proposed gun range is also an area currently targeted for development by the City, though those plans have yet to be realized.
Smith hopes to break ground on an indoor gun range at the location within the next year, though that will still need to go through the commission to obtain the appropriate zoning for the area. Smith said his current plan includes the indoor range with gun rentals, a gun shop and a restaurant.
City commissioners also agreed to rename A Street NE, between 2nd Avenue NE and 3rd Avenue NE, to Caddo Street.