FIRESTONE — The town’s planning commission was slated to decide Monday night whether or not to recommend annexation of 900 acres north of Firestone to be used as a shooting range.
The recommendation to the board of trustees was scheduled to be made after press deadline, and the following decision by the trustees is slated for Wednesday night, but Firestone residents, and neighbors in unincorporated Weld County made their feelings known during the planning commission’s first meeting on the topic Feb. 5.
The turnout during that meeting pushed the discussion past the five-hour mark, forcing the planning commission to delay its decision.
At issue is the application the town received Dec. 5 for the Second Amendment Firearms Experience at Patriot Ranch. The application for annexation, outline development plan and final development plan, if approved, would allow the construction of S.A.F.E. one mile north of Firestone’s northern boundary.
It was this location, north of State Highway 66 and east of Weld County Road 17, that worried some of the neighboring property owners who fear the noise and potential danger would lower property values and disturb wildlife along the St. Vrain River Valley.
These owners, which includes Miller Farms, Wilson Farms, Sekich Family Farms, Pyeatt Family Farms, Meadowlark Acres and residents of Grandview Estates in Mead, have formed a Facebook site: Save the Vrain.
On the page, local residents have posted pictures of nesting bald eagles, and warnings that the shooting range would be two miles from homes in Mead and Platteville. The site stated Feb. 7 that 118 signatures had been collected for a petition to block the annexation.
“Would you want the state’s largest gun range in your back yard?” the petition asks. “Firestone residents voted down the most recent tax increase for road maintenance yet Firestone’s town government keeps adding new roads. Lots of new roads. More annexations also means more emergency services. Do you want your fire department or police department six miles outside of your town center if you need them?”
A statement from the town of Firestone said the owner of S.A.F.E was within their rights as property owners to petition to annex the property into a neighboring municipality of their choice.
“While the firearms training facility, shooting range and associated facilities are urban-type uses, the majority of the property is currently proposed to remain undeveloped as open space. Future development of the property would be subject to a future land use approval process,” the statement reads.
The town hosted a neighborhood meeting to discuss the proposed shooting range Jan. 29.
Questions regarding the application should be directed to the Firestone Planning Department by calling 303-531-6260.
Contact Ben Wiebesiek at
303-659-2522, ext. 205, or email email@example.com.