Club's plan for rifle range worries neighbours

Neighbours are concerned about the prospect of more and louder shooting at the Windsor Sportsmen's Club, with its plan to build a new rifle range.

Neighbours are concerned about the prospect of more and louder shooting at the Windsor Sportsmen's Club, with its plan to build a new rifle range.

The noise level of rifles will be tested at the Dougall Avenue range next month.

Sharon Wessle has lived nearby on Church Street for 18 years, and she says she's already disturbed by the sounds of trap and skeet shooting.

"Sportsmen's Club over there, you can hear the shooting already. It's kind of scary, because you don't know where the shots are going to go, and how far they can travel," she said.

Barry Hodgson and his family also live on Church Street just north of the club. He too is concerned about safety.

"Things like that are always scary you know, accidents happening and things like that are always a concern. But you know the issue with that is always accidents happen. I mean even the most experienced hunters have accidents, and my concern is that it's still an area near my child and where he is playing … and you never know what can happen," Hodgson said.

Ward 3 city Coun. Fulvio Valentinis said he's concerned about how the noise might affect the neighbourhood.

"Very simply, I think there needs to be more dialogue, so that everyone knows what the expectation is and what is being proposed," he said.

For the last 60 years, shooting has been allowed at the site, but just with shotguns used in skeet and trap shooting.

The testing will determine if it's feasible to have a rifle range, and how to make it relatively quiet, according to Dave Roberts, chair of the club's rifle-range project.

"This is just preliminary. We want to do this testing for the sound, to be able to construct the range properly, and we don't know how much baffling  — sound baffling and barriers that we have to construct," Roberts said.

If it's affordable, he said, the rifle range would be constructed according to the highest safety standards, and would be opened next spring.