Spokane Journal of Business

Hearing examiner to revisit gun club project

Nonprofit prepares to proceed pending new land-use ruling

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Although a conditional-use permit for a shooting sports range planned by the Spokane Gun Club recently has been remanded by a superior court judge to the Spokane County Hearing Examiner’s Office, the club is preparing to proceed with the project if it gets another favorable ruling, says Louis Huang, club secretary.

The $4 million-plus project is planned on 450 acres of land the club purchased in 2019 for $920,000 at the northwest corner of Brooks and Thorpe roads, near Medical Lake.

The site is located just west of Fairchild Air Force Base and across Thorpe Road from the Medical Lake Cemetery.

Spokane County records show the nonprofit club has several permit requests pending, including building permit applications for trap and skeet facilities for shotgun shooting sports, a 4,600-square-foot clubhouse, and a 2,800-square-foot maintenance and storage facility with restrooms.

The trap and skeet plans include a covered five-stand shelter with wind guards, a barrier fence, and associated structures from which clay discs would be launched as airborne targets for shooters.

The club also is considering a pistol range that would be fully baffled to prevent rounds from escaping the facility.

Wolfe Architectural Group PS, of Spokane, is designing the project.

The club has received several construction bids, but hasn’t made a final contractor selection yet, Huang says.

The 126-year-old Spokane Gun Club has operated a range at 19615 E. Sprague since 1947. It sold that 99-acre property to the Central Valley School District for nearly $8 million in 2018.

There, the school district is constructing Ridgeline High School, which is scheduled to open in the fall. The district also plans to construct an elementary school on a portion of the site in the future.

The gun club is operating under an agreement with the school district in which the club must vacate the Valley site no later than July 1.

The hearing examiner’s land-use approval for the range in mid-2020 came with several conditions intended to lessen impacts on neighbors.

Opponents of the range appealed its approval, however, and a judge last month remanded the case to the hearing examiner for further consideration.

Mike McLean
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Deputy Editor Mike McLean has worked his entire journalism career in the Inland Northwest. Mike, who also lives to reel in fish and crank up music, has worked for the Journal since 2006.

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