In the end, Planning and Zoning commissioners 4-2 vote Monday night might not matter much.
They might believe the Boise Police Departments shooting range near the end of Mountain Cove Road (scroll to bottom of story for map of range's location) clashes with the growing recreational use of the surrounding Foothills, but thats beside the point. The range has been in existence since 1960, so planners dont have many options for shutting it down.
Its already there, and its not going to go away by any action we can take, Commissioner Milt Gillespie said.
Furthermore, the police departments legal counsel has concluded the city is exempt from standard permitting requirements, Capt. Randy Roper said. Boise engaged in the process only as a gesture to people who live near the range, Roper said.
He said the city would appeal the commissions decision.
Most of the people who spoke at Mondays meeting were against the proposal to add three shooting lanes, a 30-foot shooting tower and a 360-degree range for scenario training. They didnt believe the proposal did enough to reduce noise from gunfire and worried it would make the area less safe.
Don Reiman, who spoke for a group of dissenters, focused on proposed backstops he believes are inadequate to keep stray bullets from flying out of the range.
P&Z Commissioner Karen Meyer described the range as a ticking bomb, though theres never been a reported accident due to stray bullets from it.
Other people who spoke at Mondays meeting said its simply time for the range to go the way of the Old Penitentiary north of Warm Springs Road.
The citys grown up around this place, said Edward Squires, who lives with his wife, Suzanne, about a half-mile south of the range. Its not a safe place to have a range anymore.
View Boise Foothills shooting range in a larger map
Sven Berg: 377-6275