WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - City Planners will decide Thursday whether or not they will allow a gun range to move in near a park and historic neighborhood.
If they do, the gun range will be given an exception to a city code that requires gun ranges to be at least 1,000 feet from homes. The proposed location is only 700 feet from some homes.
For some in the historic Flamingo Park neighborhood, this is concerning.
Kimberly Kelley lives on the opposite side of Howard park from the proposed site of the gun range. She worries that it would bring trouble to her peaceful neighborhood. "We don't want anything like that. We just want to be safe and quiet," said Kelley.
Other neighbors have also voiced their concerns through email to District 5 commissioner, Shanon Materio.
"I had 21 yesterday, all complaints or concerns. They're concerned about everything from the environment to the traffic, and that it's directly across the street from a very well used park," said Materio.
The gun store's property manager, Victor Hernandez, is hoping city planners will give the business an exception to city code. He says the facility wouldn't only be used for target practice, but could be used as an extra training site for police.
Hernandez says the company's owner, Alex Shkop, is taking safety concerns seriously. An indoor soccer facility is next door. "He's gone to great lengths to create a design that's going to provide great security to the next door neighbors, but also deal with noise," Hernandez explained.
Hernandez says the gun shop will serve as a buffer between the businesses from the gun range. Shooters will be firing toward a wall near a parking lot that is several feet thick.
No advertising would be directed toward the park.
If given a permit, it would take weeks for the business to open.