Friday, May 9, 2014
An indoor shooting range, proposed by Palmetto State Armory at South Morgan's Point in the former Food Lion, was denied by the Mount Pleasant Planning Commission as well as the Planning Committee of Council.
The applicant was on hand Monday to ask for a deferral, but the committee moved ahead with the agenda item to approve rezoning, with a unanimous nay.
The area in question is zoned planned development – area-wide business and a gun range would not be a permitted use.
A shooting range is only allowed in Area-Wide Business II as a conditional use in a light industrial per the town's zoning codes.
There are areas in town designated for this zoning where this would be permissible without a rezoning process. But according to planning staff, even still, the business would be subject to any conditions such as noise, safety and lighting.
Jullian Wilson, facilities manager and principal of Palmetto State Armory, requested a deferral due to lack of information to council members. He wanted them to make an informed decision regarding the project.
He said Palmetto State Armory is not just a gun store; it is the fastest growing business in the state with 250 employees and gross sales of $120 million. He said it is veteran-owned and was founded in 2008. They currently own three state-of-the-art ranges in South Carolina, he said.
Wilson told the committee that each facility is overbuilt for safety, which is absolutely paramount and powerful rounds are not allowed although the building is built to withstand them.
He described their facilities as destination locations.
Palmetto State Armory would offer courses on weapons and carry a full line of fishing gear and accessories.
While a facility they own in Summerville has 18 lanes, this would be smaller. The idea is also to create relationships with local law enforcement agencies for training.
The committee chose to make a motion to deny the application based on the planning commission's vote and public input. The full council will hear the proposal next Tuesday night.