Shelton homeowners seek private shooting range on land

Plans to allow a private shooting range on a 371 Leavenworth Road property are on hold awaiting approvals from local zoners and the state Department of Energy & Environmental Protection (DEEP).

The 42-acre site is owned by Jill Stockmal and Dave Barnett, who are seeking the private shooting range on the land. The application was tabled by the Planning & Zoning Commission Tuesday, Dec. 10, because, since there is a conservation easement on the land, DEEP must offer an opinion.

"I was taken aback by this,” said commission Chair Virginia Harger about the application. “This does not meet any standards, and I personally do not look favorably on this application.”

Interim P&Z Administrator Ken Nappi said he recommended this be tabled so any comments from the Conservation Commission or Planning & Zoning can be made with the applicants and their representation present. The delay was needed as all continue to wait for the DEEP response.

The conservation easement on the property has a restriction to only passive use, which is why DEEP opinion is required. The Conservation Commission has already submitted correspondence to Planning & Zoning objecting to the use on the property.

Commissioner Elaine Matto said she was familiar with property and the parents’ intention for the property, which led to the adoption of the conservation easement. She said it was the original intention to keep the natural setting, meaning protection of the wildlife and habitat presently there.

Nappi said the applicants have stated that they wish to use the shooting range in the same manner as done since their father owned the land. But Nappi said that use has changed with the conservation easement in place.