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Yorkville clears the way for shooting ranges, gun makers

Updated: August 30, 2012 6:18AM

YORKVILLE – The City Council has amended its zoning ordinance to allow for shooting ranges and manufacture of weapons and ammunition in certain areas of town.

Shooting ranges will now be special uses in manufacturing districts and business districts, while manufacture of weapons and ammunition will be permitted in the city’s two manufacturing zones.

With a special use requirement, a proposed business must get permission from the City Council, even though the proposed use is allowed in that particular zone.

Two aldermen opposed changing the zoning rule, for quite different reasons.

Alderman Larry Kot, 2nd Ward, said he had trouble approving manufacture of assault weapons and ammunition in town, in the wake of the recent shootings at the movie theater in Aurora, Colo.

“In light of all the recent tragedies this country’s faced with assault weapons being used, I feel like I’m part of the problem here by allowing the assembly of them in my city,” Kot said.

Kot added that he did not have a problem with the shooting ranges.

Alderman George Gilson, 1st Ward, on the other hand, had no problem with the manufacturing provisions. He said he thought forcing a minimum setback of 50 feet for a shooting range from any other zone, including residential, was not enough.

He said not only could there be danger from the shooting, but that noise might be a factor.

Alderman Carlo Colosimo, 1st Ward, who said he supported the zoning amendments because of his support for the 2nd Amendment, answered both aldermen. He said state standards for building shooting ranges make sure they are safe, and 50 feet is more than enough setback.

Colosimo also said that assault weapons already are sold in Yorkville, at a sporting goods store.

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