BY MIA SANSONE
PROSPECT — Prospect Gun Club is looking to build a 36-stall firing range and clubhouse off Route 69, but there is a growing concern among neighbors about safety, noise and property values.
The Planning and Zoning Commission on Feb. 15 accepted the application from the club to build a new facility at 178 New Haven Road, which is in the south end of town near the Bethany line.
If the application is approved, Prospect Gun Club would move from its 100-yard range on land behind the town garage at 221 Cheshire Road.
Land use inspector Mary Barton said a hearing on the application is set for April 5 at 7:05 p.m. at Prospect Community Center, 12 Center St. A virtual hearing is scheduled for April 10.
The 68-acre New Haven Road property is owned by Peter Visockis, Victor Visockis and Victor Visockis Jr. The club would operate seven days a week with the range open from 9 a.m. to dusk and the clubhouse from 8 a.m. to noon.
Residents of the neighborhood near the proposed site said they are worried about the noise level from the gun range.
“People move here for the quiet,” said Kate Czarnecki, a resident on Hemlock Road, about a mile away from the proposed range.
“It is a desirable, nice, quiet neighborhood.”
There also are concerns the home value of their properties would decrease due to the range’s proximity to their homes.
Jerry Williams, president of Prospect Gun Club, said they are aware of the neighbors’ concerns.
“We’ve spent the last year plus having a professional help us design the range to meet the criteria the town requires,” Williams said.
Recently, residents near the proposed site have placed signs in front of their homes in protest of the gun club.
Residents also have created a website, preserveprospect. com, to share their concerns and encourage people to attend the hearing and speak against the club’s proposed relocation.
This is not just a Prospect issue. The sound of a rifle firing travels more than two miles and will be heard in Naugatuck, Bethany and Cheshire as well as Prospect!