City council shoots down range bid

Dustin Sikora has set his sights on Langley City council after it refused to allow him to open an indoor shooting range on the Langley Bypass.

In September he applied to the City for the indoor shooting range. The member of the military police wants to set up a business where people could do recreational shooting as well as a place where law enforcement and others could train and do recertification shooting.

But the application was rejected and he asked council to reconsider. At the public council meeting on Oct. 6, council unanimously decided not to reconsider the application.

The site at 20460 Langley Bypass is zoned C2 Commercial Services Zone, which would allow for recreational activity, but the City definition of recreation includes “opportunity to perform physical activities.” Gerald Minchuk, the City’s director of economic development said that does not include shooting. He noted it does not include billiard halls as well and the City bylaws are such that anything not specifically allowed (mentioned in the bylaw) is prohibited. Shooting is not mentioned.

“Staff reviewed this matter with the city’s legal counsel,” he added.

Staff recommended that council refuse to reconsider the application and councillors did.

“Good luck in your endeavors in business, sir,” Acting Mayor Ted Schaffer said after the vote.

Sikora said the council decision, with no discussion at the public meeting event, has to be challenged.

He noted that the City has allowed a go-cart business and that’s not physical activity. It’s in an area zoned for light industry and go-carting is not mentioned in City bylaws since not every activity can be listed.

Sikora said at least shooting is an Olympic sport.

As well, the City has allowed the CEFA child care centre on the bypass but it’s not a permitted use under C2 zoning. The City did site specific zoning for that business.

“It didn’t go the way I thought it would go,” he told the Langley Advance after the decision.

He said he will now challenge this in court.

After leaving the meeting with about 20 supporters who attended, he said he may pick up a nomination package to run for City council.

He said the Township was welcoming when he was looking to set up his business. Sikora was looking at a site in the Township when he found his preferred site on the Bypass.

“I’ll go elsewhere but I’m still going to sue,” he said.

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