1. Attention: We have put together a thread with tips and a tutorial video to help with using the new software. Please take a moment to check out the thread here: Trapshooters.com Tutorial & Help Video.
    Dismiss Notice

NJ Shooting School

Discussion in 'Uncategorized Threads' started by atagym, Sep 20, 2007.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. atagym

    atagym TS Member

    Jan 29, 1998
    Shooting school eyed for Westby Farm lot

    Thursday, September 20, 2007



    BYRAM — The owner of Hudson Farms who recently purchased the former Westby Farm property, has asked the town's Planning Board to look at rezoning part of the Westby property to allow a shooting school.

    While there is already a shooting school and a range which supports a variety of events on the Hudson Farms property on the other side of town along the Byram-Hopatcong border, this new venture would be mostly for private instruction and some small-group events, said John Ursin, attorney for MMK Reinsurance, which owns the land.

    The area where the range would be set up is almost in the middle of the property. There are a few residences along Andover-Mohawk Road in Andover, but there are several ridges between the proposed range and those properties.

    To the south and nearly a half-mile away from the range is the edge of Forest Lakes development and beyond that is the C.O. Johnson Park, an area that has raised some concerns in the community.

    The concerns are over the amount of noise coming from the range and the fact that noise is gunshots.

    Talking of Johnson Park, local resident Harvey Roseff said, "There's no reason children there have to grow up expecting gun shots to be a natural part of community life. Let's leave that psycho-acoustic problem for the inner city family to deal with. When bat meets ball, the outfielder shouldn't be ducking for cover."

    That was contained in a letter he wrote meant to be distributed to members of the Planning Board.

    The sporting clay range, a type of shooting with shotguns, doesn't require a zoning change to be built, since its use is allowed under the current zoning.

    However, since the concept is to convert the farmhouse on the Westby property into the headquarters for the shooting school, that commercial use of the building does require a zoning change, said Ursin.

    The land currently is zoned for residential, as well as agricultural, uses, he said, and MMK has suggested the town look at possibly creating a new zone which could include some conservation restrictions. MMK, which is owned by businessman Peter Kellogg, also owns other tracts of land across northern New Jersey and has worked with local, state and regional conservation groups on preserving the land as well as creating recreational uses, such as trails.

    Of the approximately 900 acres of the Westby Farm, which has been renamed Hudson Farm West, about 600 acres lies in Byram Township with the remaining land in Andover Township. Already, the new owners have returned some fields to planting and have cleaned up some interior roads through the woods.

    The attorney said the existing firewood and beef cattle operations are being upgraded. The farm is also looking to build, on part of the land in Andover, an operation to raise pheasants. The farm already has a smaller pheasant ranch in that part of the property.

    Ursin said the current shooting range at Hudson Farm would remain in operation. That site has a large clubhouse, capable to hold banquets for dozens of people, as well as the trap and skeet and sporting clay ranges where groups hold outings. That site also is home to a private shooting club and does release upland game birds on the property for pheasant and grouse hunting seasons.

    The Griffin and Howe Shooting School would move its operation to Hudson Farm West. The school provides individual and small group lessons in the use of shotguns. There would not be any rifle range involved, Ursin said.

    "We will be building a sporting clay course and a small skeet range," he said during a tour of the property this week. In trap and skeet, the shooter moves to various stations between two towers from which clay "pigeons" are launched through the air.

    In a sporting clay setup, the shooter moves along a path through natural surroundings to each shooting station. From those stations, the shooter fires at clay targets which could fly through the air or roll along the ground.

    Ursin said acoustic engineers have already done field work on the noise and are working on a report to be filed with the Planning Board at the appropriate time. "What we do know is that the noise level is far below (Department of Environmental Protection) standards," he said. "It will be less than someone down the block mowing their lawn."

    The Planning Board has asked the town's Planning Director to look at the issue. Once that report is done, the board, as part of its normal Master Plan review, will make recommendations to the Township Council on what changes, if any, should be made.

    The Council has the final say on zoning changes and is required, by law, to hold a public hearing on those proposals.

    ©2007 The New Jersey Herald
  2. dennis (nj)

    dennis (nj) Guest

    I hope this goes forward without any problems . We need another range in NJ , Sporting Clay included . Seeing that rifle and pistol would be excluded should make the process an easier issue I think . Would this be set up for the public usage or just a school as stated . I`m curious to what the fees would be per round .
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.