Thursday, April 11, 2013

Building Permits, Change of Use, and Gun Clubs

I've lost count of the many news articles regarding the lack of Gun Club building permits and change of use permission I've come across through the years, but the Kinderhook Sportsmen’s Club in New York is the latest.
About 100 people turned out to a Ghent Zoning Board of Appeals meeting Wednesday, as a public hearing was commenced on the Kinderhook Sportsmen’s Club and its application for expanded uses and structures.

The board’s review has been going on for several months. It was initiated by an Oct. 25, 2012 letter from Code Enforcement Officer Gilbert Raab, informing the club it was in violation of the town code.

“The club needs to apply to the ZBA for a permit for the expansion that has taken place,” Raab stated in the letter. “Also, building and use permits for the various buildings added since 1974 need to be obtained.”


Now, the club has a lawyer and jumping through hoops.

If the local golf course, dirt bike track, or ski slope has to apply for building permits and make sure they have approval for change of use, why not your gun club?

- Adding a sporting clays course or 5-stand.  You may have a change of use conflict.    

- Adding a trap field to existing fields.  At a minimum, building permit.

- Storage garage. At a minimum, building permit.

- Changing operating hours.  Going from three days a week to five days a week.  You may have a change of use conflict. 

- 100 members when founded, now has 1000.  You may have a change of use conflict. Some clubs have had to defend membership growth (increase in traffic, noise).

- Club has a kitchen.  Does it meet state and federal safety standards.  Range hoods and fire suppression is a standard requirement.

-  Pot Luck Functions.  In some states it's against the law to have food prepared at home and brought to a function. New York is one!

- Beer sales.  Beer permit?  Donations to purchase is not going to cut it if a formal complaint. Will your insurance cover the club if an accident and no beer permit?

By the way, your club is not letting lead leave the property?

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