Spurwink Gun Club rules ready for council review

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CAPE ELIZABETH — Ordinance updates affecting the Spurwink Rod & Gun Club are complete and could be reviewed later this month by the Town Council.

A key change to the ordinance is that the club’s license can be renewed every three years, not one.

Town Planner Maureen O’Meara worked with councilors comprising the Ordinance Committee — Patricia Grennon, Katharine Ray and Caitlin Jordan — over the last two months. The council may review the updates later this month and hold a public hearing in June, said O’Meara. 

The committee’s work and O’Meara’s shepherding reorganized the ordinance’s working. 

“The Ordinance Committee made additional revisions based on comments received, and the decline in the number of public comments at the end of the process suggests that the proposed revisions have general support,” O’Meara wrote in a memo. 

An amendment change includes the duties of the town’s Firing Range Committee, whose role is in flux. “With no applications received to serve on the committee, committee responsibilities need to be reassigned. The amendments assign to the police chief the responsibility to receive and review a license application, and then to provide a recommendation to the Town Council,” according to the memo, which continued, “The Town Council would then hold a public hearing before voting to issue a license. The police chief is also responsible for license renewals. Enforcement and receipt of complaints has been clarified to be the responsibility of the Police Department.”

Safety will remain paramount at all times. 

“The Ordinance Committee made clear that enforcement to protect public safety and to investigate complaints is ongoing and independent of the license renewal process.”

The work caps a tumultuous period in the club’s history, when neighbors living in the Cross Hill section sparred with club members over safety issues. Concerns of noise and stray bullets were one issue; another involved insurance liabilities. The club is insured for $1 million, and its operating license is in order and active. 

Gun club President Tammy Walter said the work represents a compromise.

“After all the hard work and dedication of the ordinance committee, (while) we didn’t get everything we wanted, I feel that it was an excellent compromise,” said Walter. “The end result is fair to everyone; the town, our neighbors, and to us.”

Lisa D. Connell can be reached at lconnell@781-3661, ext. 183 or lconnell@theforecaster.net. Follow Lisa on Twitter: @connell_ld.

Tammy Walter, president of the Spurwink Rod & Gun Club, leads club functions, including gun raffles.