Catskill ZBA rules against gun range
Mar 15, 2019 9:01 am
Sarah Trafton reports for Columbia-Greene Media that the Catskill Zoning Board of Appeals ruled March 13 that law enforcement training is not allowed at a local gun range. Catskill Town Code Enforcement Officer Elliot Fishman sent the Sheepdog Warrior Shooting Range, on Haines Road in Catskill, a cease-and-desist letter last Oct. 30 because the training was not approved for the special-use permit the range was granted in February 2017 as a membership club. The Sheepdog owner Edward Rivenburg appealed the decision Nov. 7. The shooting range is also currently before the town planning board asking to extend the 450-yard range to 1,000 yards so it will become a sniper-training facility. But the ruling says The Greene County Sheriff’s Office and the Saugerties Police Department, who have both recently used the shooting range, won't be using it now. “The Zoning Board of Appeals hereby upholds the interpretation of the Town of Catskill Code Enforcement Officer that law enforcement weapons training or testing, military weapons training or testing and or other activities that are not customarily regarded are recreational use are not permitted in the RA zoning district and are outside of the property’s special use permit,” zoning board Chairwoman Lynn Zubris said. Catskill's lawyer Michael Smith said, “The planning board lacks the authority to approve a use not permitted by the zoning code.... That can only happen by a use variance or an amendment to the zoning code.” The owner, Rivenburg, did not believe the ruling. “Why would the town, for any reason, restrict law enforcement training when it benefits the community?” Greene County Sheriff Greg Seeley took his criticism of the ruling farther. “There’s no difference between law enforcement or private citizens being there,” he said. “It’s unconstitutional to only let certain people [shoot] there.” Read the full story at HudsonValley360.com.