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Rifle range referred to zoning board.

LANCASTER- Selectmen voted to leave the final decision on whether to use the firing range as a training and qualification shooting site for the Police Department to the Zoning Board of Appeals.

Selectmen Monday night closed discussion on the matter because they said they lacked the legal jurisdiction to enter into a memorandum of agreement

"It's a zoning issue. Period. And we're not the governing body on zoning," said Selectman Christopher J. Williams.

Since September, the towns have been trying to come to an agreement over the issue of the Clinton-owned parcel of land, located in Lancaster. The land in Lancaster is zoned residential and, due to a period when it was controlled by the South Meadow Wildlife Association, the use as a rifle range cannot be grandfathered.

At the end of September, the Lancaster zoning enforcement officer issued a cease-and-desist order over a Clinton officer using the range.

Over the past couple of months, Lancaster and Clinton officials have been debating over such issues as to when shooting could occur, night-time shooting, notification of Lancaster's dispatch center when police officers intended to use the range, and the types of firearms used.

During this dispute, residents voiced concerns over what time shooting would be permitted.

The Lancaster Board of Appeals approved a special permit last month for the Lancaster Police Department to hold shooting qualification sessions at an old quarry off Pine Hill Road used for practice. A date for the Appeals hearing on the Clinton request has not been set.
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Publication:Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)
Date:Dec 11, 2009
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