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Ventura County News Roundup

SIMI VALLEY : Neighbors Oppose Shooting Range Bid

January 10, 1992|CARLOS V. LOZANO

Simi Valley residents who live near a proposed outdoor police shooting range northeast of the city are organizing to oppose it.

Residents of the Indian Hills subdivision have collected more than 100 signatures, said Bill Souder, an organizer of the petition drive.

"I just don't want my peace and quiet to be destroyed," said Souder, who lives about half a mile from the proposed shooting range.

Bob Heitzman, deputy city manager, said the city will have to apply to the county for a zoning change before building the shooting range. The land is now zoned for agriculture.

The City Council plans to hold a public hearing on the issue in early February, Heitzman said.

Souder said residents do not trust the findings of an environmental study of the site, which concluded that noise levels from the gun range would be low.

"We don't believe that," he said, adding that residents are particularly concerned about the Police Department's plans to hold shooting drills in the evening.

Mayor Greg Stratton said he understands the residents' concerns and is not certain that the proposed site for the range is the right one.

"I do have concerns about the nighttime firing," he said.

City officials have been searching for a site for the shooting range for two years.

Heitzman said the city could save as much as $50,000 a year in overtime pay, travel expenses and lost time for the department's 105 officers, who have to go to a gun range in Camarillo.

Sgt. John Wilcox said officers are required to log a certain number of hours of shooting practice each month with various types of weapons.

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