Zoning board denies Cedarville University’s application for a shooting range

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The university has not yet decided whether or not they will appeal the decision.

CEDARVILLE — The Cedarville Twp. Zoning Board voted unanimously to deny a zoning application for Cedarville University to build a gun range on its property. The proposed gun range would host a student shooting club and provide space for classes on gun safety.

The university filed a zoning application with Cedarville Twp., proposing to build an outdoor sporting range for clay shooting sports, an outdoor pistol and rifle range limited to 100 yards, an archery range, learning center and a parking lot with about 30 spaces. A public zoning hearing was held Tuesday evening at the Cedarville Fire Station.

A spokesman for Cedarville University said that no decision has been made as to whether the university will appeal the decision, but all feedback from the community and the zoning board will be taken into account for future plans.

The proposed location is a section of farmland owned by the university, on the east side of the village near state Route 42. The university has demolished two houses and several outbuildings on the property to develop a university-owned shooting range, according to its application to the township, with plans to implement a student shooting sports club team, which the site will host.

Janice Supplee, vice president for marketing and communications, said the club shooting team is something students have had interest in the past. The shooting team would compete against other universities such as Hillsdale College in Michigan, which is also in the process of building a gun range on campus. The facility would also be available for use by faculty and campus police, and the university may include access through memberships at a later date.

“We will start small, and this is a phased project, adding opportunities as they present themselves,” she said.

Supplee emphasized that the university is in the early stages of this project, and that the facilities listed in the application may change.

“Safety is our No. 1 concern,” Supplee said. “Noise mitigation is also a priority. We want to be a good community member.”

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