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Future of proposed Loveland gun range near school unclear

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LOVELAND, Ohio - As some residents express concerns over a possible gun range proposed near Loveland Primary School, Loveland city administrator Tom Carroll said there is no immediate plans to construct a range on Loveland-Madeira road.

"I've recently spoke with the potential proprietor," said Carroll. "He's [the proprietor] not planning to submit any time soon for a building permit."

Carroll added the proprietor of the possible gun range has been exploring location options since September.

There were also no items on the city's agenda to address the issue at its Tuesday, Jan. 8 meeting at 8 p.m.

Parents in the school district have been concerned over the possibility of this type of business moving in near their children, especially in light of recent tragedies like Sandy Hook.

One parent who has two kids that go to the primary and elementary schools expressed her concern simply.

"It's that much easier, less steps for a kid to find ammunition and a gun that's a potential weapon," said Terri Wiseman.

In terms of local law the city has little say on whether a gun range gets built in that area, since a range fits within allowed use on Loveland-Madeira Road. In 2004, residents of Loveland passed legislation allowing the businesses to be built within city limits.

"It is a principally permitted land use," Carroll said. "It does not have to go before city council."

The idea of placing a temporary stop on building gun ranges on Loveland-Madeira Road has been discussed by at least one council member and a draft ordinance for a moratorium could be requested. A super majority vote by council members necessary under Ohio law to put the moratorium in place immediately after council's next meeting in two weeks would probably be lacking though, said Carroll.

"I doubt there would be six votes to pass by emergency ordinance," he said.

In a letter addressed to the Loveland community, Valerie Kincaid signaled her concerns and asked residents to show up to the city council meeting and the Loveland City School District Board meeting happening Tuesday evening to ask questions.

" What impact could having the shooting range diagonally adjacent to Loveland's primary/elementary schools have on our home values?" wrote Kincaid.

Kincaid emphasized the proposed range was legal and she would be respectful in expressing her concerns that also involved student safety.

On the Loveland City School District website, John Marschhausen, superintendent/CEO of the district, recommended "the Loveland City School District Board of Education adopt a resolution of concern to be delivered to the Loveland city council as part of their deliberations and for their consideration at the January 8 organizational meeting."

In terms of addressing concerns, Carroll said he could not speak with 100 percent certainty for council or the potential proprietor of the range, but said there would be time before any action would be taken.

Any moratorium ordinance passed through normal means by council could not take affect until March by this point.

"By that time it may or may not be an issue," Carroll said. "Nothing is going to happen any time soon."

WCPO reporter Amy Wadas contributed to this report

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