JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. -- A proposal for a gun range in Jacksonville Beach is shot down unanimously by city commissioners. Residents raised concerns about the range's proximity to several schools in the area.
Pat Richman heard about the proposed gun site on Penman Road and wanted to see the location for herself. When she drove by the site, she was shocked to learn it's right across from the school both her grandchildren attend.
"Oh and they play in the play yard when they are playing outside...that's scary, that is very scary."
Montessori Tides School is right in front of 1521 Penman Road, the proposed location for a gun shop and firing range, and it's an area that's a part of the city's vision to create more pedestrian traffic.
"I just don't think it would benefit the neighborhood or do anything to make it more appealing. Penman Road needs to have something to make it appealing and it's not a gun range," says Richman.
Staci Hunter walks down Penman Road almost every evening with her kids. During the week, she takes them to Cinotti's Bakery which happens to be right next to the gun range's proposed location.
"We take our kids there after school for an afternoon snack. It's just right in the middle where a lot of activity goes especially with kids, it's right next to a day care. I just feel maybe there's other places at the beach where they could tuck it away."
Many at Monday evening's Jacksonville Beach City Planning meeting expressed opposition to the gun range's location.
Commissioners denied the application on the basis that the location is not consistent with the city's vision, and it would have adverse effects on property values in the area.
Supporters of the range were also present and say it would have been a good opportunity for the businesses involved.
"This is a commercial transaction between two parties, a party that wants to sell and a party that wants to buy. This is a rare event. This is something that doesn't take place every day and it would be terribly unfortunate to let emotion, unfortunate circumstances of timing put this to the side where both parties fail," said Michael Jackson, a gun range supporter.
The range's applicant, Kim Stanley, did comment on whether she will be looking at other possible locations.