Construction has resumed on a shooting range in south Littleton, after the South Park Owners Association settled its ongoing lawsuit with Triple J Armory. The settlement, the terms of which were not …
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Construction has resumed on a shooting range in south Littleton, after the South Park Owners Association settled its ongoing lawsuit with Triple J Armory.
The settlement, the terms of which were not immediately available, drops the last legal barrier to the completion of the stalled shooting range under construction since early 2018 at 8152 Southpark Lane.
“It seems as though they're going to try to be as friendly and neighborly as I guess we could hope for,” Pat Dunahay, the director of the South Park Owners Association, or SPOA, said of Triple J.
The lawsuit alleged that Triple J failed to seek required approval through SPOA. The dismissal filing has not been filed with the Arapahoe County Court yet, according to a court administrator. SPOA was required to pay Triple J's legal fees, Dunahay said, though he declined to give a number.
Triple J's owners could not immediately be reached for comment, but a post on the company's Facebook page reads in part: “After months of red tape and bogus lawsuits, we can finally get back to construction! …[If] any of our `other' fans are reading this, yes, we have a building permit, and no, you don't need to call the city and complain.”
Triple J Armory, a family-owned gun store previously located in a smaller space on County Line Road, opened a retail store in the South Park business district in fall 2018, but their efforts to build a shooting range saw repeated delays.
The company began building the range without required city permits, and drew the ire of neighbors who said the business was incompatible with surrounding uses, including schools and a cohousing development.
City officials were powerless to withhold a business license for the range, said Littleton Mayor Debbie Brinkman, because shooting ranges are a permitted use in the site's zoning.
The project drew scrutiny from the city, however, with staff mandating a variety of safety and security measures, according to documents published on the city website. The city issued a building permit for the shooting range in November, and Triple J picked up the permit in early December.
“I'm glad it's over,” Brinkman said of the legal wrangling over the range. “We can move on and work together to get this done in the best way possible for all involved. We'll be very watchful as they build this thing out.”
The city will keep a close eye on concerns over noise, traffic and parking, Brinkman said.
The fracas is spurring change at the city, Brinkman said. City council is in the process of crafting an ordinance that would significantly raise the bar to approve future shooting ranges, including mandating public hearings, and the city is seeking to formalize its relationship with SPOA, requiring communication between the two entities before proposed projects in the business park are given the green light by the city.
In the meantime, Dunahay said he toured the under-construction shooting range, and was satisfied with the precautions being taken.
“I was pretty impressed with the level of security of the weapons and ammo,” Dunahay said. “We better get along with them. They're not going away.”
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