by Mike Knaak
The Stearns County Board voted June 26 to deny a conditional-use permit for a trap shooting range in St. Joseph Township.
After a June 20 public hearing, the Planning Commission recommended the county board deny the conditional-use permit.
Commissioners cited a number of concerns for denying the request including the proximity of homes, environmental effects of lead shot landing in wetlands and the proposal’s incompatibility with the county’s comprehensive plan.
The proposed range is in the southeast corner of St. Joseph Township between Hwy. 23 and Interstate Hwy. 94.
Commissioner DeWayne Mareck moved to support the planning commission’s decision with Commissioner Joe Perske seconding.
Before the June 26 meeting, Mareck asked the environmental staff to provide more details to the planning commission findings.
To support denying the permit, the planning commission findings noted there are 250 homes within a mile of the proposed range and there are plans for additional residential and commercial expansions in the area.
Water contamination from lead shot falling in wetlands and noise were also cited as well as a possible 10- to 20-percent drop in property values.
Perske noted 45 people testified during the four-hour public hearing.
Bryan and Lisa Brophy proposed the range they hoped could be used by the Apollo High School trap-shooting team.