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County officials propose change to ‘gun club’ definition

Draft solar farm ordinance also a topic of discussion

AP file photo
A firearm, magazines and a suppressor rest on a table at a gun range in Atlanta.
AP file photo A firearm, magazines and a suppressor rest on a table at a gun range in Atlanta.

SYCAMORE – Community members again will be invited to ask questions or voice opinions Thursday, when the DeKalb County Board continues hearings on rules for solar farms and gun clubs.

The County Board is considering three proposed changes to the County Code and Zoning Ordinance, according to the agenda for the meeting, which will take place at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the DeKalb County Legislative Center’s Gathertorium, 200 N. Main St., Sycamore.

Those amendments include revising regulations on the heights of accessory structures, clarifying the definition of a “gun club” and allowing for regulating solar panel arrays.

County residents and representatives of businesses located outside the county spoke for more than an hour at the initial hearing Jan. 31, voicing cautious optimism about the solar ordinance.

On the issue of gun clubs, some spoke in opposition, voicing concerns about regulation of Second Amendment rights, and general concern for preserving the character of the county’s rural areas.

Community Development Director Derek Hiland has said the “gun club” amendment is an attempt to include common practice into the county code.

“It’s more of a clarification than anything else,” Hiland said.

After the Jan. 31 hearing, county staff put forward a new definition.

“[Gun club] shall mean a commercial use wherein one or more of the following activities occur: gun, rifle, and pistol clubs; gun and firing ranges; target shooting; trap; skeet; and/or, firearm training classes,” it states. “Excluded from this type of use shall be general hunting, the noncommercial discharging of firearms, and noncommercial gun and firing ranges.”

Hiland emphasized the importance of “commercial use” being included in the definition.

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