The Blue Springs Planning Commission unanimously recommended Monday that the City Council change the zoning at a site for a proposed indoor shooting range from general business to regional commercial.

The site for the indoor shooting range is at the south side of Northwest South Outer Road and west of Northwest 22nd Street in Blue Springs. The project plans to occupy the existing building that was formerly All-American Fitness.

Commission Chairman Ken Billups noted the council amended City Ordinance Section 407.040 earlier this year, which allows an indoor shooting range to be located in either a regional commercial, light industrial or heavy zoning district. Previously, they were allowed only in a heavy industrial zone.

“Given the car dealership lots near the site, this is not unusual with the zoning district,” said Assistant Director of Community Development James Holley to the Commission.

The council approved the indoor shooting range’s final plat on Feb. 18, and if the Council decides to approve the rezoning, the planned project will face just one final hurdle from the city: a conditional use permit.

One commissioner asked the owner of the proposed indoor shooting range, T.J. Nigro, if he has managed a shooting range before, considering the noise of gunfire could be problematic for residences southwest of the planned location. Nigro answered that since the shooting range would be a two-level building and that the site is already near Interstate 70, the gun firing will take place underground in the lower level, “causing natural abatement.”

The commissioner then questioned if gunfire noise can possibly travel through the facility’s ventilation. Nigro again replied that it will be checked to “meet OSHA standards” and he will “choose the most effective method to abate noise.”

Nigro was later asked why he chose the particular site for the indoor shooting range. He said because of the “visibility right off the interstate” and “suitability” of the existing building on the site.

“It (the building) can be adapted to fit our needs,” he said.

If the project passes the rezoning and conditional use permit hurdles, Nigro anticipates the  shooting range will break ground by early summer. He has said he considers the Blue Springs location good because the market is under-served in Eastern Jackson County.