Neighbors concerned about proposed Sheriff's shooting range

Neighbors concerned about proposed Sheriff's shooting range
TERRACE HEIGHTS, Wash. -- The mountain views and quiet seclusion are two big reasons why Gordon Martin and his wife moved to this neighborhood 17 years ago.

But, the Martins and their neighbors might soon have a new view; an outdoor shooting range and training facility.

A portion of county landfill property land could be used by the Yakima County Sheriff's office and corrections officers.

"We're concerned about the value of our property once that comes in. Not only the value, but whether or not we can even sell it," said Neighbor Gordon Martin.

Plans call for a storage building, training facility and two outdoor firing areas to be used at all times of the day and night.

Dirt barriers up to 20 feet tall would be built to cut noise, but neighbors say it won't be enough.

"The way I look at it, is the county has a lot of other needs. You could stand a couple more deputies, but they don't have money for that but yet they have money to develop this area," said Neighbor Gale Harman.

Much of the practice shooting for the Yakima County Sheriff's Office and Department of Corrections happens at the Yakima Training Center.

Deputies say more restrictions have been placed on their practice shooting over the years, which makes it increasingly hard to train.

The sheriff's office plans to keep costs down by doing a lot of the work in-house.

A public hearing is not required for the project because of the zoning and type of construction, but neighbors can submit their concerns in writing.

Martin already started collecting signatures for a petition to stop it.

Neighbors would have two weeks to appeal the county's decision if the shooting range is approved.

There's no schedule when that could happen but deputies hope to get the green light and have it ready this summer.