Herriman City officials consider alternate gun range locations
The Herriman City Council Chamber was so packed for a recent council meeting, there wasn’t even standing room. Residents packed the hall outside the room and the break room behind the chamber just to listen in. Many others listened in via Ustream.
They were there to either support or protest the proposed site for a gun range at approximately 4500 West 16000 South.
The overwhelming majority were extremely excited about having a gun range in Herriman. However, many of the residents in the Juniper Crest and Lookout Ridge neighborhoods don’t agree with the location.
Opinions voiced through the night were divided clearly among those who lived near the proposed site and those who lived elsewhere.
The site is approximately 1 mile from Providence Elementary School, 4795 Mt. Ogden Peak Drive.
“I moved to Herriman because of the quiet seclusion and peaceful life offered here,” Karen Warner said. “I don’t approve of a gun range that will echo over to my home. It will be an annoyance. And by the way, I am a concealed weapons permit holder.”
“I am excited about the possibility of a gun range in Herriman,” Luis Adams said. “I compete professionally. I need to shoot a minimum of monthly, preferably weekly. The LeeKayCenter[closest outdoor shooting range] is too full and only open during business hours. Shooting on Bureau of Land Management property is not safe. This will really help.”
Many of the comments through the night targeted the city’s preliminary studies of the area which many considered unprofessional. The most prevalent concern was sound.
“It’s not a bad idea, just a bad location,” Kenny Thomas said. “I don’t trust your sound tests. They were done during the brief time that the prevailing winds were from the northeast, but winds here are typically from the southwest. You have to have professionals do these tests.”
City officials responded to the residents’ concerns.
The tests were preliminary, City Manager Brett Wood said. “So I understand the concern—it is just premature. This meeting was meant to be sort of a kick off. We had to confirm that the council was in favor of a gun range.”
On Nov. 15, at a public work meeting, the council decided that a search for other possible locations for the gun range should be a high priority.
The city hired Convergent Technologies, from Tempe, Ariz., to do a noise study and mitigation review for the original proposed site. They presented their findings at the Dec. 13 city council meeting.
Convergent Technologies did a sound recreation demonstration for attendees and the council. A representative played the raw noise and then different variations.
“Our first choice is to find a different location,” Councilmember Mike Day said. “However, if we go back to the site we know we have, we will make sure it’s safe, or we won’t do it. Safety is the big concern. It’s part of the oath we took. But I’d like to go beyond our oath and do what we can to make people happy. That would mean hiring professionals to design the range with noise mitigation that exceeds minimum standards and ensures the quiet neighborhoods they love.”
A total of 20 possible locations were suggested for consideration by Assistant City Manager Gordon Haight at the Dec. 13 council meeting. Three of those were selected as sites to be considered. The council asked city staff to prepare detailed proposals for all three locations to be presented at the Jan. 24 council meeting.
The three possibilities were the original proposed site and two others, located farther south. Each has issues that need to be addressed.
Nearby residents oppose the original site, feeling the range would lessen the area’s appeal and quality of life. The other two locations would have to have landowners’ agreement to sell the land for this purpose. The city would have to pay for the land, the right of ways for roads to get there and water access.