The owner of Village Gardens in Blue Springs wants to build an indoor gun shooting range, but is seeking a couple amendments to Blue Springs’ Unified Development Code beforehand.

Although T.J. Nigro couldn’t comment where exactly in Blue Springs his indoor shooting range will be located at Monday’s Planning Commission meeting, he says that shooting ranges are underserved in Eastern Jackson County. The application for the proposed indoor range requests to be in either a regional commercial or light industrial zoning district as opposed to heavy industrial – the only-allowed zone already defined in the code.

“We are working with Action Target,” Nigro told the commission, “who are well-equipped and construct shooting ranges all over the world.”

He said his planned range should be around 5,000 square feet and will also sell gun accessories and clothing.

Another change Nigro asked of the commission was to revise the Muncipal Code requirement that firearms and ammunitions should be vaulted in separate containments after closing. He says that it would become “labor intensive” to constantly move both ammunition and guns every night to separate, locked containers, and that gunshops in town are not required to do the same as firing ranges.

“The more handling causes damaged merchandise,” he said.

The commission unanimously approved the amendment requests to the City Council, but Commissioner Mark Trosen said Nigro and Action Target should refer to the National Rifle Association’s technical report for guidance on how to construct an indoor firing range.

Auto repair

An auto repair facility planned to be located on 2700 South Outer Road requested a conditional use permit. The applicant, Thompson Business Park Auto Repair, is proposing to allow an auto repair business to occupy a 1,275 square foot building.

The staff will recommend the project if five conditions are met such as a traffic study, constructing a buffer if remaining open past 10 p.m. and that vehicle headlights will not shine on nearby residential property. The commission passed the conditional use permit for the auto repair business and will recommend it to the City Council.

Downscaled plans

A third public hearing occurred on rezoning property from neighborhood business to a family residential overlay at the northwest corner of Southeast Moreland School Road and Southeast Adams Dairy Parkway.

The 3.9 acre site was originally annexed by the city in 2006 and later became part of the larger Parkway Estates development. The current owner of the property, Wood Land Investment, LCC, now wants to rezone the site to build 11 maintanence-provided duplexes called “Parkway Villas” since no other development applications have been submitted or approved.

“We have been actively marketing it (the property) at no interest,” said the applicant’s representative, Roy Allen.

Along with the rezoning request, the applicant also sought approval of a planned residential overlay concept plan and preliminary plat for the development.

Allen described the duplexes to the commission, saying they would be intended for senior living although they would not set any age restrictions. Each unit would be 800 square feet and feature stucco elevation, gable roofs and a one-car garage with a 30-foot setback. He said that they cannot enforce restrictions if a small family expressed interest living at a unit, and the maintenance would be funded by home owner association fees.

One witness, who says he is currently building a new home at the nearby Parkway Estates subdivision, spoke against the project. He said the proposed duplexes do not fit the style of that area, and that he would rather have light commercial in that property such as a Subway restaurant versus potential residential tenants who may rent. Allen previously said it has been undecided whether these duplexes will be available to own or lease.

“If it was truly geared for senior living, I wouldn’t have a problem with it,” remarked the witness. The commission members also said they cannot force developers to impose age restrictions on housing projects.

The commission approved the rezoning. However, they did not recommend the overlay or the preliminary plat of the Parkway Villas project to the City Council.