Paintball range raises debate at Moffat County Commission meeting
December 8, 2015
A request for a permit to build a paintball range in a small Blue Mountain subdivision lit up the discussion at the Moffat County Commission meeting Tuesday morning.
The applicants, Troy and Colleen Zufelt, said the range would be an improvement for the area, and they had taken measures to ensure it would not be nuisance to their neighbors.
"We're not trying to do it to hurt the community and we don't feel like it's going to hurt the community," said Troy. "We feel like it's going to bring kids, adults out of their homes."
But the Zufelts' neighbors in the Gadd Subdivision disagreed, citing concerns about safety, noise, littering and Troy himself to the commissioners.
"His history scares me on this deal. I'm just not sure that we can trust to him to do what he says he's gonna do," said neighbor Lou Dan Jacobs.
Jacobs said the last time she was in the front of the county commissioners was because of an issue involving Troy shooting Tannerite.
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The commissioners tabled approval of the conditional use permit until they can visit the property sometime after the first of the year.
Troy had already installed a shed and an eight-foot metal fence around the 14,400-square-foot range with an additional six feet of mesh netting on top but was notified by the county that he needed a permit.
Jerry Hoberg, Moffat County Planning Department director, said he did not have an issue with the Zufelts seeking a permit after beginning the project, and it was a common occurrence.
Donald Moreau and Marvin Dorris also addressed the commissioners about their disapproval of having a paintball range next to their home.
"It's kind of confusing for us to all the sudden see commercial property come in when all this time we thought it's going to stay serene and peaceful," Moreau said.
The two men said part of the reason they moved to Blue Mountain, about 7 miles east of Dinosaur and 12 miles northwest of Rangley, was because of its remote tranquility, and they are afraid of it being damaged by the range.
One of their concerns is where the paintballs end up.
Troy said the fence and net totally contained the balls, which are biodegradable, but neighbors told stories of picking the bright blue, red and green balls out of their yards.
Another concern neighbors have is the continual noise the range might cause, compared to the area's normal sounds.
"My jackass brays once in a while," said Jacobs. "It's not continual from daylight 'til dark.”