LETTER: County Zoning Committee ignores safety with archery range ruling
To The Telegram:
When the Douglas County Zoning Committee voted to issue a conditional use permit to the Solon Springs bow hunters, three members of the panel also took away the surrounding residents’ rights to safety, privacy and the use and enjoyment of their property, forcing neighbors to have a possible private/public nuisance, noise pollution from parties, tournaments and excess traffic.
Isn’t a zoning committee supposed to protect the health and safety of the public? Douglas County has quite a few archery ranges, so why is this range also a necessity? How could board members justify that someone, perhaps a child, could get killed and vote ‘yes.’ Shouldn’t each member who voted ‘yes’ be held responsible? Would zoning vote for an archery range next to their own homes? Four out of five club members own 20 to 160 acres of their own land. Why not on their land?
There are no laws to protect people from an archery range next to their home or school.
Each and every person who lives in the area of the range signed petitions, wrote letters to the Telegram and called, e-mailed or sent letters to zoning. Our neighborhood, our lifestyle meant nothing to the Zoning Committee except for two board members who had basic common sense that the location was wrong and an accident could happen. I applaud them.
At the first zoning meeting, the board wanted the club to address safety and privacy issues and a new target plan, instead of targets pointed directly at one home and yard. Now, the targets point at two other property owners.
According to members of the Douglas County Zoning Board and Solon Springs bow hunters, safety and privacy can be obtained by placing warning signs every 100 feet and planting little trees every 10 feet.
As a thank you to the three board members, this summer when the club has its tournaments, I invite them, their children and grandchildren for a picnic. We we can sit under a sign and behind a seedling where it’s safe.
An archery range in Eau Claire closed down last September because the potential for danger was too high and wasn’t worth the risks to the public and the residents. The city had ordinances in place as well as other safety measures to ensure the health and safety of the public and nearby residents. They had earthen berms, wooden hillsides and bunkers used to prevent stray arrows — yet people still had arrows in their yards.
Warning signs along Baldwin Avenue and along private property. How is this safety? Can small children and pets read these signs? Wouldn’t this be considered an eyesore along Baldwin Avenue and for the family that has to look at the signs along their property or out their window? This doesn’t include looking at targets and the club’s port-a-potty.
Can anyone explain how seedlings 10 feet apart is privacy? Will it take 30, 50 or more year for complete privacy? If they even grow in sandy soil, will it require a lot of water to become established? Will this club spend all summer watering 950 feet of trees?
The Solon Springs bow hunters should have used common sense and picked a location away from people, and respect people’s property and lifestyle.
People from the beginning of time always fought for their family, friends and property, which is what we have done and got nowhere.
Instead of waiting to see who gets killed and to prevent archery ranges moving into your neighborhood, we must have laws on archery ranges now, especially as more areas in Wisconsin are becoming populated.