breaking news

Death of Huber Heights man found in Springfield park ruled a homicide

Vandalia council to discuss ranges amid shooting grounds controversy

The Miami Valley Shooting Grounds owner will need to obtain a new zoning designation from Vandalia before reopening his indoor range, and is prohibited from reopening the outdoor range at all, according to city documents.

On Tuesday, city leaders will discuss the future of all other shooting range applications in Vandalia after implementing a six-month moratorium on new applications.

MORE: Vandalia moratorium won’t stop shooting grounds’ bid for new permit

MVSG, located at 7771 Johnson Station Road, is zoned as agricultural land and was only allowed to use the indoor range in association with the outdoor range. But now that the outdoor range’s permit application is denied, the range inside is no longer legally allowed to be used.

The range’s attorney, Timothy Rudd, said he believes the city is intentionally making the range’s reopening difficult. Rudd maintains his client, range owner Dana Tackett, has made improvements to the range and that an independent evaluation confirmed the outdoor range’s safety.

“There seems to be a common thread in terms of people wanting to end shooting for one reason or another,” he said.

Vandalia Police Chief Douglas Knight said in a letter to Tackett that “required supervision was lacking” at the outdoor range, and that a “promise and policy regarding enhanced supervision in the future is not persuasive.”

“It is my opinion that the issuance of the requested permit for shooting at MVSG’s outdoor ranges would be detrimental to the health, safety, welfare and morals of the city,” Knight wrote the range’s attorney.

MORE: Shooting range posed threat to public, chief says in letter revoking permit

The chief also said that “since the time of the issuance of the original permit, there have been substantial changes in the surrounding neighborhood, with construction of more residential dwellings.”

Short of seeking an administrative appeal from the courts, the decision on the outdoor range is final and will not be reconsidered, Vandalia law director Gerald McDonald wrote in an email to Rudd.

Following the controversy, Vandalia city council issued a six-month moratorium on issuing permits for shooting ranges, as well as permits to discharge a firearm within city limits.

The moratorium has no affect on the MVSG, city spokesman Rich Hopkins said, but would impact new applications for ranges in the city. But the shooting range is encouraging patrons on its website to attend the meeting to “ask the city council for transparency and honesty about what is truly driving the city’s recent actions.”

The meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Vandalia Municipal Building.

MORE: Vandalia cop ‘retreated’ as bullets whizzed overhead

In September, the Dayton Daily News and News Center 7 revealed a Vandalia police officer said he “retreated behind” his cruiser when responding to a Sept. 7 call over errant bullets from the shooting grounds.

The officer’s superior said it “was obvious … that the shooters were a threat to public safety and not in compliance with the permit” the police chief issued in 2007, according to the officer’s report.

A neighbor of the range, Jamie Spencer, filed a lawsuit against the range the next day alleging stray bullets from the range flew onto his property. The range denied the claims in the lawsuit, which is scheduled for trial in September.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Local

Local woman could win $1 million on ‘Survivor’ season finale tonight 
Local woman could win $1 million on ‘Survivor’ season finale tonight 

A local woman could land $1 million tonight if she wins the finale of “Survivor: Ghost Island.” The season finale will air on Wednesday, May 23 at 8/7c on CBS. The castaways have been narrowed down to  Domenick, Wendell, Laurel, Angela, Donathan, and Sebastian. Angela Perkins, a Mason resident, will compete...
‘No, not this again’: Grandmother’s death in drive-by shooting reminds of 2006 incident just 3 doors away
‘No, not this again’: Grandmother’s death in drive-by shooting reminds of 2006 incident just 3 doors away

The May 19 fatal drive-by shooting of a 62-year-old grandmother — which has Dayton police asking for help before the trail goes cold — is similar to a 2006 incident that also happened on North Euclid Avenue. The story is all too familiar to one area man’s memories of his aunt’s death. Sherrell V. Wheatley died last Saturday...
2 Franklin men arrested in stabbing incident
2 Franklin men arrested in stabbing incident

Two Franklin men involved in a late night fight that resulted in a stabbing have been arrested. Franklin police charged Timothy Tinch, 32, with one count of assault, a second-degree misdemeanor, and Christian Vick, 34, with felonious assault, a second-degree felony. MORE: These Butler, Warren businesses want to become medical marijuana stores Vick...
Daytonian of the Week: Tom Helbig, founder of Tomfoolery Outdoors
Daytonian of the Week: Tom Helbig, founder of Tomfoolery Outdoors

As of this morning, Tom Helbig is cruising on his bicycle through reportedly, 68 degree and sunny Portland, Maine, en route to Canada, craving a Dayton craft beer and some Taqueria Mixteca.  His East Coast cycling trip began in February in Key West, Florida and will wrap at the end of June when he returns to Dayton to resume organizing and planning ...
Here’s how Luke Kennard is thanking his hometown for their support
Here’s how Luke Kennard is thanking his hometown for their support

Luke Kennard is returning to the area this summer to pay back those who supported him throughout his illustrious basketball career at Franklin High School. After a press conference at Atrium Medical Center where it was announced that Premier Health is partnering with Kennard and Win The Next One to present the Luke Kennard Overnight Basketball Camp...
More Stories