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Mediation Results Over Gun Range Causes Controversy

Monday, February, 5, 2018

The resolution reached in mediation has been unanimously approved to resolve the dispute over the proposed shooting range between Jefferson County and Joe D’Amico.  D’Amico is president of the Fort Discovery Corporation.


The dispute stems from the one-year moratorium placed in December that prevented modification or establishment of new commercial shooting facilities.  D’Amico was affected because he had plans to set up a range near Tarboo Lake.


According to the Jefferson County Chief Civil Deputy Prosecutor, the mediation outcome is not binding for either party.  Each would have the option of terminating the agreement at any time.


A hearing on the issue is set for the beginning of February.


Those who opposed D’Amico’s plans were given an opportunity to speak their mind in front of the commissioner before approval of the resolution.


According to residents in the area who chose to speak out about the matter, it is “nonsense” that a corporation or person who did not submit an application or vest itself would not be subject to the moratorium.  One person stated, “A mediation agreement that grandfathered a nonexistent permit application would fly in the face of the moratorium ordinance and the Growth Management Act, and would be utterly indefensible”.


Mediation experts believe the people in the community should be heard, even if they are not directly involved in the matter.  Some even believe that if the community is left out of the mediation process the agreement reached during the process will ultimately fail.  Parties involved have agreed that once a final solution is reached, it will be brought before the community before it is officially approved.