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Map to be added to new weapons ordinance

By Ben Rodgers
Staff Writer

HOBART – A map to be added to an updated weapon’s discharge ordinance was presented at the Tuesday, Jan. 17 Hobart Village Board meeting.

“We did get a map of the community and we proposed no firearm designated districts based on population density and the advice of the police chief,” said Aaron Kramer, village administrator.

In the map there are areas where people would not be allowed to discharge a firearm, but could use a bow and arrow, BB gun, a .22 with birdshot or a slingshot.

The ordinance would also limit firearms within 300 feet of any building devoted to human occupancy, unless with consent of the owners, and 1,000 feet around school yards.

These changes would mirror a similar ordinance in neighboring Lawrence.

The map would be attached to the ordinance as an exhibit, which makes it easier to amend in the future by a board resolution, when it is finally approved.

“There was no action recommended tonight because we don’t have it in ordinance form and I didn’t assume this would be the final draft of the map,” Kramer said.

It was also agreed to by the board to have the planning and zoning committee handle any request to update the map, once it is finalized. This is because the issue ultimately boils down to land use.

This means that any future recommendation made by the committee on someone who wants to amend the map would not be final, as it would still require full board approval.

“It’s not a headache only Hobart has to struggle through,” said Randy Bani, police chief. “It sounds like there are so many communities that go through this process and continually have to tweak the map, as stuff develops. The end target is safety.”

The major change of the ordinance would be no target practicing allowed within the village.

“I can tell you, the last guy who was thought he was target practicing and that bullet went into a house with five people,” Bani said.

Kramer said he doesn’t expect a final draft of the ordinance to be ready for vote until late March or April.

In the meantime the board welcomes any public input.

“This does amend and alter areas of the village so I’m strongly encouraging we get as much public input and comment before we proceed with something of this nature,” Kramer said.

The board went into closed session after the meeting and no action was taken following the session.

In other news the board met in a special meeting on Jan. 10.

At that meeting the board approved a proposal to hold two public hearings at the Feb. 6 meeting, both related to the same property.

One hearing will be on a conditional use permit for land located in the 4000 block of North Overland Road for a possible mini and condominium storage warehousing development and leased business space development.

The second public hearing is a proposed rezoning of that property from agriculture to limited industrial.

The board took no official action coming off a closed session which came at the end of the Jan. 10 meeting.

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