Neighbor questions indoor shooting range push

This letter is in reference to Ordinance No. 405 (12-13) – an ordinance to authorize and direct the director of public safety and service to waive the operation of Marietta City Ordinance Section 549.08(a) for the operation of a private indoor shooting range to be built and owned by Charles Ditchendorf, Jr., located specifically at 205 Pearl St., Marietta, Washington County.

As a homeowner, this indoor shooting range would be built right beyond my backyard. My main concerns are safety, noise and added traffic to my neighborhood. It is also right next to a park and a daycare center. I don’t feel the average citizen understands what is before Marietta City Council nor have they been advised or even adequately notified of the entire process.

At a public hearing on Tuesday, Dec. 17, at the Open Door Baptist Church, I was advised that this indoor shooting range is to teach gun safety and help the Westside of Marietta and our community. When I asked how it was going to benefit the residents and their families of the Westside of Marietta I wasn’t really given an answer except that it will improve our community. I believe that is because it isn’t going to benefit the residents and their families in my neighborhood. Unless added noise of an indoor shooting range, added traffic to the neighborhood and people getting in and out of vehicles with guns at this proposed indoor shooting range in a residential neighborhood is an improvement.

I believe in the current ordinance where it states, “No person shall discharge any air gun, rifle, shotgun, revolver, pistol or other firearm within the corporate Municipality.” I feel this is not needed within the city limits. I am not against guns. I am against an indoor shooting range within the city limits. If there is one gun, there is a chance of an accident if there are more guns then there is even more chance of an accident. I personally do not want to have to worry about these accidents occurring while I am relaxing in my back yard with my family, while children are playing in the park next door and there are people getting out of their cars in a parking lot directly behind my backyard with their firearm to go into a shooting range.

Personally I don’t feel this indoor shooting range is for the children or the residents of my neighborhood. If this indoor range is so important and beneficial to this community, why not respect the current ordinance of the city of Marietta and construct it outside the city limits as it should be and is intended by the current ordinance.

I didn’t hear any definitive answers on the noise level at the public hearing as with anything that is constructed noise will travel from any openings (doors, vents, etc.) no matter how much sound proofing there is. Again, it will be noise of gun shots and I don’t feel that belongs in a neighborhood or near a park and day care center.

I also wonder what an indoor shooting range directly behind my backyard will do to the value of my property that I have worked hard to buy and remain to work hard to maintain as my home for my family.

I understand that the property located at 205 Pearl St. is zoned commercial; I also understand though that this is a neighborhood where people reside with their families.

I would hope that the future council meetings, the next one being Thursday, Dec. 19, at 7:30 p.m. at Lookout Park, and anything having to do with the change of this city ordinance would be better publicized for the citizens of the Westside and the city of Marietta, as it not only concerns my neighborhood of the West side it concerns the whole city of Marietta because if this passes it will change an ordinance of the city.

Andrea Lisovich lives in Marietta.