By Alex Bridges -- firstname.lastname@example.org
A Linden gun store owner withdrew plans to open a shooting range near New Market after neighbors contacted Shenandoah County officials with concerns about the proposal.
Virginia Pistol LLC sought a special-use permit to operate a small pistol range training facility on a vacant, wooded lot at Moreland Gap and Woods Chapel roads. The gun store operators hold classroom firearms training and wanted to build a firing range on the site for its students. The permit application, submitted by Leslie Land-Fravel and Jimmy Don Johnson, indicated the business planned to build a 40-foot by 40-foot shooting range surrounded by berms and eventually a roof and partial walls. The structure would lie roughly in the center of the nearly 5-acre site surrounded by trees.
The Shenandoah County Planning Commission had scheduled to hold a public hearing on the request at its meeting Thursday.
Johnson, in an email sent Friday night to county Zoning Subdivision Administrator Joyce Fadeley, stated he wanted to withdraw the application for the permit. That morning, Johnson asked Fadeley by email what additional steps he needed to take, if any, prior to the hearing. Fadeley replied he did not need to make any more preparations but she noted in the email sent Friday morning "on Wednesday and Thursday I received a number of phone calls from citizens around the Moreland Gap Road/Woods Chapel Road area that are not in favor of a pistol range in the vicinity of their neighborhoods."
Johnson did not respond to messages left Friday on his business voice mail or an email for comment.