Falmouth gun club seeks indoor expansion

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FALMOUTH — The Falmouth Rod & Gun Club is planning an expansion of its clubhouse that would offer an indoor training facility aimed at specific types of arms.

The club, on about 35 acres off Gray Road, will unveil its project during a meeting of the Board of Zoning Appeals, scheduled for July 25 at 6:30 p.m.

Justin Brown, Falmouth’s code enforcement officer, said because the Rod & Gun Club is a private organization, the expansion project requires conditional use approval from the zoning board before it can move forward.

The hope is to add a 1,120-square-foot addition to the existing clubhouse that would function as a training space for air guns such as pellet and BB guns, as well as for archery, according to Dave Sokasits, the club’s acting president.

He said the project is designed to meet the demand for “places where shooters can be trained,” particularly youngsters.

Sokasits also said that within the last several years the state has changed the rules that govern bow hunting, and now permit holders must prove they’ve taken an archery course.

“This is not an indoor range for firearms,” he added “and we’re not trying to compete with the commercial ranges” that have popped up in recent years.

Sokasits said the Rod & Gun Club is a year-round organization with long-standing members.

“We try to be good neighbors,” he said. “We work hard at it and I feel we’ve been successful.”

The addition to the clubhouse would have “the appearance of a small barn,” according to the application pending before the zoning board. The existing building is 936 square feet in size and would remain as is, Sokasits said.

“There are a number of conditional use criteria that have to be reviewed,” Brown said, when the zoning board looks at the project, including whether the project fits with the current zoning and the surrounding neighborhood.

The Rod & Gun Club also has to show the expansion will not have a “significant detrimental effect on the use and peaceful enjoyment of abutting property” nor on “adjacent or nearby property values.”

In its application to the zoning board, the club states, “The proposed addition will be similar to existing structures on nearby properties and will not have … (an) impact on property values.”

Brown said in addition to approval from the zoning board, the Rod & Gun Club project also requires Planning Board site plan review.

Kate Irish Collins can be reached at 710-2336 or kcollins@theforecaster.net. Follow Kate on Twitter: @KirishCollins.

Members of the Falmouth Rod & Gun Club, on nearly 35 acres off Gray Road, hope the town will approve an expansion of their clubhouse.