Appearing in The Ledger June 7, 2017 . . . .
By John Chambliss
Jun 7, 2017
BARTOW — County commissioners on Tuesday unanimously approved a shooting range west of Mulberry that will allow for handgun and rifle practice.
There was little opposition to the range after a residential developer in the area and the owner of JTAC Ranch reached an agreement on the scope and design of the range, which will be located north of Nichols Road and east of the Hillsborough County line.
The owner of the range has agreed to return to the county for a new, conditional-use permit or terminate operations once construction begins on the nearby Eagle Ridge residential development.
In addition, Tara Tedrow, a lawyer for the developer, said during the county meeting that the gun-range owners specified that the range will be only for handguns and rifles. There had been discussions about using the range for rocket propelled grenades.
Before the vote, County Commissioner George Lindsey asked Tedrow whether she was still concerned about bullets landing off the 1,500-acre range.
“There will always be concerns with any firearm use,” Tedrow said. “That is inherent to any firearms use.”
But Tedrow added that her client was content with the agreement the two sides reached.
Bart Allen, a lawyer for JTAC Ranch, said a lane of the gun range will be 2,000 yards, unusually long for ranges in the state.
“This will be something unique for Polk County,” Allen said. “There is a need for this type of facility.”
A noise study conducted in May showed that the range would be in compliance with all state standards.
The range will be open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., but could stay open until 10 p.m. once a month. The closest homes that have been built are located about a half-mile southwest of the range.
John Chambliss can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 863-802-7588.
From the JTAC Ranch Facebook page . . .
JTAC Ranch Shooting Range Hey guys, thanks for tuning into the page.
We are still working on a fee schedule. JTAC Ranch will not be a public range for various reasons, it will require a membership. We will be primarily a class-based range, but once you have attended the basic safety class, as a member, you can come to the range and shoot. We will require everyone on JTAC Ranch to first attend a basic safety and JTR specific procedures class.