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Town vs. Rod and Gun Club 

Town says gun club owes more than $25,000 in fines

  • The town of Peterborough has filed an injunction against the Monadnock Rod and Gun Club for zoning, planning and building code violations.  Staff photo by Ashley Saari



Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Wednesday, October 03, 2018 10:46AM

The town of Peterborough has filed an injunction against the Mondanock Rod and Gun Club, requesting the court fine the club tens of thousands of dollars for alleged planning and coding violations.

Peterborough filed the injunction against the club on Friday, to back its enforcement of the town’s zoning ordinance, site plan review regulations, the town’s building code and the state building code.

Among the relief the town is requesting are civil penalties. The town is requesting a civil penalty of $275 for the first offense and $550 for the subsequent offenses, for each day the violations have continued since the town first notified the club of them on June 28.

To date, a single offense would require fines of more than $25,000. However, the court can determine the level of penalty, and assign a fine higher or lower than what the town requests, or waive the fines altogether.

Penny S. Dean, the attorney representing the club, declined to comment on the injunction or its allegations when contacted on Tuesday. 

The town first became aware of the alleged violations in April. Scott Perry, whose property neighbors the club, submitted a complaint to the town that the club had expanded its gun range onto his property.

The club is currently involved in a civil suit with the Perry and his wife over the ownership of the land, which the couple own the title to, but the club alleges it has been using without challenge for decades.

Upon reviewing aerial photos, the town’s code officer, Tim Herlihy, noted the “long range” had been expanded at some point between 2010 and 2017, and the “short range” had been relocated. The club had also built a 9-foot by 80-foot shooting pavilion. None of these changes had been approved by the town.

Aerial photos also showed there had also been wetlands filled in, and the wetland buffer disturbed.

The injunction also asks the court to forbid the club from using its shooting ranges and its shooting pavilion until the club goes through the process of obtaining approvals from the code enforcement officer or a variance from the Zoning Board of Adjustment, and a site plan approval from the Planning Board.

That provision was also part of the cease and desist order the town served to the club on June 28. According to the injunction, there were several reports of shooting at the Rod and Gun Club, which were confirmed by Peterborough police officers, in violation of the notice.

According to the Monadnock Rod an Gun Club’s website, the shooting range has been closed since July 25, shortly after the town executed an administrative search warrant to determine the existence and extent of wetland and zoning violations.

The town is also requesting the club apply for a conditional use permit to restore all the disturbed wetlands and areas within a 50-foot wetland buffer.

Ashley Saari can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 244 or asaari@ledgertranscript.com. She’s on Twitter @AshleySaariMLT.