A 16-lane firing range could be coming to Lincolnwood, not far from the Evanston border.
The village's Planning Commission recently cleared the way for a proposed 30,000 square foot gun shop just off McCormick Boulevard. In the past, the village has not allowed such businesses to locate within half-a-mile of any school, park or residence. (See map above by clicking the PDF image)
If built, the gun shop would be in close proximity to three parks; Drake Park, Columbia Park and O'Brien Park. One Lincolnwood business owner has already started a petition to stop the gun shop from coming to town.
"They're quietly doing some major zoning changes to let these guys in," said Lincolnwood business owner Mike Shapiro. "[The new laws] were passed at a planning commission meeting and I was the only one there."
The proposed site for the new gun shop would be next door to Shapiro's business, Ravens Wood Studio, in the 6900 block of N. Central Park Avenue. Besides the gun shop being within 800 feet of several local schools (Rutledge Hall, Todd Hall and Lincoln Hall), Shapiro is concerned about the parking and proximity to Lincolnwood's bike path, which runs directly adjacent to the proposed site.
A business the size of the proposed gun shop needs to have at least 74 parking spaces according to Lincolnwood village code, but the planning commission made another exception and changed the requirement to zero. That means parking used by existing business owners such as Shapiro will have to satisfy the parking needs of the gun shop.
"The village is just allowing them an awful lot for this one business to come in," Shapiro said. "The parking will hurt the other businesses. The noise potential could drive me out ... The Village Board instructed the plan commission to make this work. If nobody speaks up I think this will get passed."
The Village Board is set to vote on the measure on July 17. The next Village Board meeting is this Tuesday, June 19 at 7:30 p.m.