Shooters Complex Allowed to Add Outdoor Gun and Archery Range
Outdoor sportsmen will soon have a place to practice their gunning and archery prowess as Shooters Sporting Center, on Route 539 in Little Egg Harbor, has received township planning board approval to add 20 shooting lanes and 15 archery lanes to its complex.
Tom and Diane Gormley and their partners George Kurtz and Jim Meyers, doing business as GT Holdings LLC, opened Shooters’ state-of-the-art indoor shooting range in 2013 to take advantage of the popularity of recreational target shooting. Shooters is the only such facility within an hour’s drive of Little Egg Harbor.
With approval of an outdoor facility, they will add the shooting and archery lanes to their existing 15 indoor lanes for firearm shooting and 10 lanes for archery. Shooters also has 10,000 square feet of retail space for selling guns, ammunition, outdoor clothing and sports equipment.
The orientation of the outdoor shooting range toward the Garden State Parkway will be mitigated by construction of 12- to 24-foot-high dirt berms surrounding the three sides of the range. The berms will also help muffle the gunfire noise that could affect neighbors beyond 50 feet from the shooting complex off Thomas Avenue.
The archery ranges are unique in that they are within wooded acreage to simulate actual hunting experiences with dummy deer and bears.
Operation is restricted to daylight hours. Because the existing parking lot can accommodate the possible addition of 35 vehicles during peak use, the facility did not need to update its Coastal Area Facilities Review Act permit from the N.J. Department of Environmental Protection, Division of Land Use and Regulation.
During the Sept. 1 planning board meeting, the township also approved the application for a 9,243-square-foot Dollar General store on 2.18 acres on the west side of Route 539, south of Sixth Avenue. Although the store is within the “Scenic Gateway” overlay district of the General Business district, the store was granted waivers from provisions requiring parking in the rear of the building – the 34 parking spaces will be at the front and side of the building – as well as waivers from the required 50-foot wooded buffers. A few ornamental trees at the front and in a parking island were found to be sufficient by the board and the township’s landscape engineer.
— Pat Johnson