Chittenden County Fish and Game Club August 5, 2013 - Newsletter

           August 5, 2013 

Dear Members, 

I have important news for you about our Club.  As many of you know, the Chittenden County Fish & Game Club has been in a legal dispute with some of the neighbors near the Club property for some years.  Recently, these neighbors and the Club engaged in mediation in an effort to resolve our differences. 
The mediation was a success, and it is our hope that the agreement that has been made between the Club, these neighbors, and the Town of Richmond will benefit all of us.  It will benefit the neighbors by improving their quality of life.  It will benefit the Club and the community by preserving the Club and its traditions for generations to come. 

This agreement was not easy to come to.  It was long and hard and required many meetings. There are things in the agreement that both sides are not happy about.  But all of us are happy about one thing-- we need not end up squabbling with each other in court again.  We no longer can end up in a place where we could be even more unhappy about how a court might choose to resolve our differences, whatever our point of view.
On July 12, the Richmond Developmental Review Board unanimously approved the agreement as mediated between the Club and our neighbors.  Many of the changes in the agreement are designed to decrease the level of sound coming from the shooting range, improve the facilities there, and provide designated days that the neighbors can plan on it being quiet in the neighborhood.  An overview of the agreement is as follows:

1. The Club will install and maintain a locked gate to the shooting range.  The lock will use some sort of key, combination, or electronic entry, to be determined. 
2. The range hours are now from 9am to 6pm during Daylight Savings Time [mid-March to the beginning of November], and the winter hours are 9am to 4pm.  During these hours is the only time shooting is allowed at the range, and this will be strictly enforced. 
3. On the following days, the Club shooting range will be closed: a. The first consecutive Sunday and Monday of each month from April through October. b. The first consecutive Saturday and Sunday of each month from December through March. c. In November, the sixteen days of the Vermont rifle hunting deer season. d. The following holidays: New Year's Day, Easter Sunday, Mother's Day, Father's Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the first Saturday in May (Green Up Day). e. We can do things on the Club grounds on those days, such as archery or clean up, but no shooting is allowed.
4. The Club will post these hours and days on signs around the shooting range. The signs will be at the range gate and at each corner of the range, and there will be at least one of these signs every 400 feet around the border of the range.  
5. The Club will maintain at least one person that the Richmond Chief of Police and Town Administrator can contact regarding complaints of use of the range at prohibited times.  The neighbors can call the Richmond Police if the range is being used during prohibited times, and any party engaging in such activity will be regarded both by the Club and the Richmond Police as trespassing, since the prohibited times will be clearly posted. 
6. The Club will install two shotgun shooting stations at the left side of the range.  These will limit and direct aerial shotgun shooting down range.  Shooters will still be able to pattern shotguns by shooting at the backstops, but these stations must be used for all aerial target shooting. 
7. The Club will expand and improve the dirt berms around the range, and the backstops in the range.  In some places there will be trees or bushes planted.  This is to further enclose the range to prevent unauthorized access, and also to reduce the level of sound coming from the range. 
8. The Club will install and maintain acoustic mitigation, such as sound deflecting or absorbing panels around the shooting line to reduce the perceived level of sound.  The Club will enclose all of the shooting stations with a roof, except for the two shotgun stations on the end of the firing line. 
9. All existing shooting stations will remain at the range, but none can be added unless the Club gets State and local permits.  All firing will be done only from these shooting stations. 
10. Items 1 through 6 must be completed by October 31, 2013.  If this is done, then the following will apply: a. The Club's use of the shooting range will be in compliance with the Richmond zoning regulations, and with the Vermont Environmental Court's Order from Environmental Court Docket No. 236-12-02.   b. The Club will be deemed to have resolved any alleged violations from the recent Notice of Violation. c. The Club's neighbor, William Smith, will work cooperatively with the Club in its sound reduction efforts, as long as he lives in the neighborhood and is able to. 

Because of the time sensitive nature of the work that will be done to comply with the agreement, the Board of Trustees of the Club may need to close the range on other days as well in order for the work to continue.  Be assured that the Board will give our members as much notice as possible before further disrupting activities at the range.  

To sum up, the things that will affect you the most if you are a shooter using the Club range are that the hours are now changed from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm summer hours, and 9:00 am to 4:00 pm winter hours, there will be several more days that the range is closed than you are used to, and we’ll be implementing a locked gate.  But, we’ll also be able to make improvements to the range like bigger and better berms and backstops, noise reduction measures, and almost all of the shooting stations enclosed with a roof.  In addition, if we hold up our end of the agreement, then the Club will be free from further restrictions and legal actions regarding our activities both now and far into the future. 
I have enclosed a list of the days for the remainder of the 2013 calendar year and for all of next year that the range will be closed.  Keep in mind that the Board may authorize more days for construction, if necessary, in order to implement the terms of our new agreement.  

Mark DeSarno Secretary, Chittenden County Fish & Game Club  


Scheduled Range Closed Days for 2013
August 4th and 5th
September 1st and 2nd
October 6th and 7th
Deer Rifle Season, November 16th through December 1st
December 7th, 8th, and 25th

Scheduled Range Closed Days for 2014

January 1st, 4th and 5th
February 1st and 2nd
March 1st and 2nd
April 6th, 7th and 20th
May 4th, 5th and 11th
June 1st, 2nd, and 15th
July 6th and 7th
August 3rd and 4th
September 1st, 7th and 8th
October 5th and 6th
Deer Rifle Season, November 15th through 30th
December 6th, 7th and 25th