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Lincolnwood 'Quietly' OKs Firing Range, Gun Shop

Plan commission changed zoning laws so a 30,000-square-foot gun shop and 16-lane-firing range could be closer to schools and parks. Village Board meets Tuesday June 19.

A 16-lane firing range could be coming to Lincolnwood within a few blocks of several District 74 schools.

The village's Planning Commission recently cleared the way for the 30,000 square foot gun shop and 16-lane firing range. In the past, the village has not allowed such businesses to locate within half-a-mile of any school, park or residence. (See map above by clicking the PDF image)

If built, the gun shop would be in close proximity to three parks; Drake Park, Columbia Park and O'Brien Park. One Lincolnwood business owner has already started a petition to stop the gun shop from coming to town.

"They're quietly doing some major zoning changes to let these guys in," said Lincolnwood business owner Mike Shapiro. "[The new laws] were passed at a planning commission meeting and I was the only one there."

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The proposed site for the new gun shop would be next door to Shapiro's business, Ravens Wood Studio, in the 6900 block of N. Central Park. Besides the gun shop being within 800 feet of several schools (Rutledge Hall, Todd Hall and Lincoln Hall), Shapiro is concerned about the parking and proximity to Lincolnwood's bike path. In the latter, the bike route runs directly adjacent to the proposed site.

A business the size of the proposed gun shop needs to have at least 74 parking spaces according to Lincolnwood village code, but the planning commission made another exception and changed the requirement to zero. That means parking used by existing business owners such as Shapiro will have to satisfy the parking needs of the gun shop.

"The village is just allowing them an awful lot for this one business to come in," Shapiro said. "The parking will hurt the other businesses. The noise potential could drive me out ... The Village Board instructed the plan commission to make this work. If nobody speaks up I think this will get passed."

The Village Board is set to vote on the measure on July 17. The next Village Board meeting is this Tuesday, June 19 at 7:30 p.m.

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Pat Craig June 19, 2012 at 12:23 PM
I'm sure this one will stir up a hornets nest. It is an indication of a sea change in attitude, however, that this would be considered. The times they are a-changin'
jeff June 19, 2012 at 06:07 PM
Why is the bike path a concern? They shoot INDOORS into an armor-plated backstop inside a brick building. Huh?
The Police June 25, 2012 at 04:43 AM
Well, I suppose having a whole bunch of boarded up businesses all up and down our main streets is an acceptable alternative? This place has been in business for over 50 years, started when Lincolnwood was much smaller and we werent that far away from rural and farmlands. The 60's through the 90's brought great growth and change to town. Then the economy tanked. Look up and down Lincoln, Touhy and Devon. Nothing but vacants, forclosures (like the purple hotel) and blight. The gun shop wants to invest in our community, then I say we ought to allow this to happen and quickly before my taxes triple!.
kevin snow July 17, 2012 at 05:45 PM
Jeff, go to the skokie patch to see why this assumption might be wrong. I had the opportunity to see the gun training facility in Highland park with Mitch Shore and his architect/partner that is for police departments only. This is available to any Police/municipal department at a minimal cost. This facility had concrete walls, floor and ceiling. There are also steel deflectors on the ceiling to deflect stray bullets to the floor. In this facility, there are still bullet marks in the concrete ceiling and bullet holes in the HVAC overhead. Mitch's new range WILL NOT HAVE A CONCRETE CEILING! The architect/parrtner said to me they could not afford it. This new facility is NOT state of the art, unlike what they say, if a concrete ceiling is the state of the art. They will only have the wood roof, that is it. Where will these ocassional stray bullets go that do happen to get around the steel plates, as they clearly do in HP? Mitch also says that there is a need for this facility to train professionals, but there is a better designed range in HP already that is under-utilized! I go by often and the parking lot is empty. This to me is about an opportunity for Mitch that with a skirting of good practice in safety design, and a quite changing in safety laws, will make him a lot of money.
kevin snow July 17, 2012 at 05:45 PM
NEW NEWS!! This just in from the city, We have the agenda packet for tonight, and in it, the projec ted taxes from this business in amusment taxes, IF they apply them, which the mayor has said he does not know if they will, will be between $3,000 and 15,000. NOT 70k like everbody is saying. Please go online and find this yourself. This is a memp from Tim Weinberg village manager on July 5, 2012 sunjetc FIREAMS DEALERS SPECIAL TAX. This is a projection of taxes BY THE CITY based on income projections by Shore Galleries. NOT 70,000!
kevin snow July 17, 2012 at 05:45 PM
NOT 70K..... Here is a link to the exact page, the original on the LW site is prretty buried in the entire doc, but if you want more, go to the LW village site. http://www.flickr.com/photos/82849018@N02/7591492728/in/photostream
kevin snow July 17, 2012 at 07:50 PM
Correction: Earl,,,,agian, you are right, sometimes! Sorry, the correct number on a calculator that actually shows me commas says that Mitch Shore would need to generate 1.4 million in revenue to create 70k in amusement taxes. That is, though, IF: -the city passes an amusement tax -the city levies the tax at 5%, their highest projection. Regardless, the projection is based on numbers of 300k annual net income from Shore Galleries.

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