Planning commission delays action on shooting range

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Landowners and residents near where a proposed shooting range would be located northeast of Benson showed up at Monday’s Swift County Planning Commission hearing to oppose the project.
An estimated 40 people filled the commissioners’ meeting room to raise objections about noise, safety, the impact on property       values, the impact of shooting noise on livestock in the area, concerns about drivers being distracted by the shooting, and property rights.
The planning commission tabled action on the Benson Sportsman’s Club conditional use permit and will do a site visit to assess the property, plans for the range and the proposed range’s proximity to area homes and farms.
Swift County’s Board of Commissioners was scheduled to act on the conditional use permit at its meeting Tuesday, but due to the planning commission’s tabling it board action has also been delayed.
Under state law, when an application is filed for a conditional use permit the governing body has to make a decision within 60 days on the application or it is assumed approved. The applicant can waive that 60-day period, or the public body can determine that the application is incomplete or deny it and start the process over.
To meet that 60-day rule deadline, the county board has to make a decision by May 9. To meet that deadline, the planning commission has set 8 a.m., April 20 for the continuation of the public hearing started Monday.

Photo:  The shooting range site is northeast of Benson on Hwy. 9.

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