Shooting range stalled again by new lawsuit

Triple J Armory's parking inadequate, neighbor alleges

Posted 4/8/19

A controversial gun store in south Littleton is facing another lawsuit, again stalling out the owners' plans to complete a shooting range that has drawn the ire of neighbors. Triple J Armory, which …

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Shooting range stalled again by new lawsuit

Triple J Armory's parking inadequate, neighbor alleges

Posted

EDIT:  Judge Frederick Martinez ruled on April 8 that Triple J can resume building the shooting range, calling the parking lawsuit disingenuous. 

A controversial gun store in south Littleton is facing another lawsuit, again stalling out the owners' plans to complete a shooting range that has drawn the ire of neighbors.

Triple J Armory, which moved its retail operation into a building at 8152 South Park Lane in October, is facing a lawsuit by RHR Investment, which owns 8122 South Park Lane, an adjacent building home to several commercial tenants.

At issue is parking. RHR, owned by mother and son team Renata and Ron Lilischkies, alleges that Triple J does not have adequate parking to satisfy the terms of a covenant agreement that governs both properties.

In a complaint filed in the suit, RHR argues that owners fear Triple J customers will inevitably begin parking in a group of spaces shared by the buildings, likely violating RHR's prohibition on guns on its premises.

Triple J co-owner J.D. Murphree, however, testified in an April 5 court hearing that both the City of Littleton and the South Park Owners Association — which settled its own lawsuit with Triple J in the final days of 2018 — signed off on Triple J's parking arrangements, and argued that RHR's calculations included the full square footage of the indoor shooting range, rather than the number of stalls in the range.

“Nobody will be downrange while people are shooting,” Murphree said at the hearing, calling the downrange area a “no man's land” that should be immaterial to parking calculations.

RHR's lawsuit argues Triple J misrepresented how much of their building will be devoted to retail operations in order to downplay the amount of parking needed. Attorney Jonah Hunt pressed Murphree about a mismatch between floor area ratios Triple J provided to the City of Littleton versus numbers asserted in the lawsuit. Murphree conceded that one of the two sets of numbers "may be inaccurate."

Triple J's lawyer Colin Diehl argued that the Lilischkies' lawsuit was disingenuous, citing emails Ron Lilischkies sent to the South Park Owners Association and comments he made to Littleton City Council objecting to a gun store and shooting range as a bad fit for the area.

The suit has stalled Triple J's buildout, Murphree testified, because his bank placed him in default on his loan after being informed of the filing, leaving him unable to pay contractors building the range.

Triple J has spent $1.2 million so far building the range, according to a court filing, and had to postpone a planned March 9 grand opening after the suit was filed.

Triple J has been in the news for years. It was the target of two completed burglaries and another attempted burglary in its old location off of County Line Road.

The City of Littleton issued a stop-work order on Triple J's new location in 2018 after finding the company had been constructing its shooting range without permits.

Neighbors, particularly residents of the nearby Highline Crossing cohousing community, have maintained a drumbeat of opposition to the project, arguing the shooting range is too close to nearby schools and day cares, and will cause noise and safety concerns.

Neither Murphree nor the Lilischkies would comment for this article, citing ongoing litigation.

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