Women-friendly Elgin gun range plans move forward
A proposed gun shop and shooting range in Elgin specifically catering to women got the OK from the planning and zoning commission.
About 15 people spoke at the meeting Monday night, with a little more than half opposing plans to open Fox Valley Shooting Club in a vacant space at 780 S. McLean Blvd., Elgin senior planner Damir Latinovic said.
The proposed gun range owner, Mark Glavin of Wayne, submitted a petition with more than 90 signatures in support, Latinovic said.
Linda Fletcher, who lives behind the building, said she owns a gun and likes to shoot, but she's concerned gun range noise could lower property values.
"I went to GAT Guns and you can hear 'pop, pop, pop,'" Fletcher said. "And I was farther away than where I live."
The owner of the Elgin property, Alan Kirk, said he also visited GAT Guns and couldn't hear any noise from the parking lot.
The space has been empty since July, when Total Home Health moved out. The home health care agency generated lots of traffic -- including from customers, eighteen-wheelers and box trucks -- much more than the gun range would bring in, Kirk said.
Easter Seals DuPage & Fox Valley, which provides services to children with developmental delays and disabilities, is about 250 feet away, along with a preschool program run by Elgin Area School District U-46. Wendy Lirgameris, a physical therapist representing Easter Seals, said the agency is concerned about children's proximity to guns.
Resident Mike Warren, a former city council member, said the decision needs to take into account the best interest of the entire community, not just neighbors.
"To have a tenant that is going to provide a good resource for the community, good jobs and a good, solid business in Elgin, I think is key for the success of this project," Warren said.
The gun range will offer a welcoming, aesthetically pleasing environment, to make women feel comfortable, Glavin said.
The commission unanimously recommended approval of the plan, which likely will be discussed by the city council April 12, he said. Commissioners Jay Cox and Karen Beyer were absent.