Bradford Zoning Board of Adjustment
FINDINGS OF FACT — 8/16/2017
- Anthony Rosa Jr. seeks a Special Exception to construct and operate a hunting preserve on his property on East Washington Rd comprising 158.8± acres. Mr. Rosa proposes:
- to construct small (1 to 5 acre) fields, connected by trails;
- to release game birds in these fields for groups of up to four customers and a dog, one group at a time with the possibility of one group in the morning and one in the afternoon;
- to require the use of steel shot only;
- to limit hours of operation to 8 AM to 4 PM, September through April
- to comply in full with RSA 212:25 and Fish and Game Department Administrative Rules
- This proposal is for a hunting preserve. It is not for a shooting range.
- A portion of the Rosa property is at an elevation above 1,200 feet and is located in the Conservation Zone. Commercial uses other than agriculture and forestry are not permitted in this Zone. The balance of the property is located in the Rural Residential Zone, where commercial uses are permitted by Special Exception. The requirements for a Special Exception include:
- The site is appropriate for the proposed use or structure;
- The proposal is not detrimental or injurious to the neighborhood;
- There will not be undue nuisance or hazard to pedestrian or vehicular traffic;
- Adequate provisions have been made for sanitary facilities;
- Adequate and appropriate facilities will be provided for parking and utilities to ensure the proper use of the structure;
- The proposal is consistent with the spirit of this ordinance and the intent of the Master Plan.
- The Rosa property is currently forested, and is hilly, with very rocky soils, steep and ledgy sections, and wetland areas.
- The Dept. of the Army Pamphlet 385-63, titled Range Safety lists the shot fall danger zone for 12 gauge shotguns with size 7.5 or smaller shot at 300 yards. The National Rifle Association and other groups also recommend a minimum of 300 yards safety zone for shotgun ranges.
- Abutters and neighbors object to the proposal, citing concerns about noise, safety, and shot falling on their property and on the public road. Abutters also expressed the concern that the proposed hunting preserve would be defined as a “shooting range” under NH RSA 159-B, and that the abutters and the Town would have little recourse if there was an expansion of use and/or noise were to become a serious nuisance.
- Two people (other than the applicant and family) spoke in support of the proposal, stressing that this type of operation is better controlled and much safer than public game bird hunting areas. One of these two people stated that he did not believe the proposed hunting preserve could be a viable commercial operation on this property given the limitations of the site.