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by Patty Cheffey
If the rezoning request is approved by the county Planning and Zoning Commission and the Marion County Commission, Marion County could get a paintball field.
Matt and Sarah Courtney were present at last weeks planning and zoning meeting for a first hearing to request a rezoning change of 51 acres off Highway 6 from A1 agriculture to C1 neighborhood commercial.
The plans, Matt Courtney said are to build a paintball field in the wooded area on the property and possibly later include other “family friendly” activities, including swimming in the couple’s four-acre pond and possibly pottery lessons with his wife.
One neighbor, Carol Pflantz, who lives across the road from the Courtney property and whose property is also zoned commercial, expressed her concern that while it may start out as a paintball field, what is to prevent them from putting other commercial ventures on the site once it is rezoned.
Charles Webster, chair of the planning and zoning commission, noted with the changes to the county’s rezoning regulations, Courtney will only be allowed to do certain things on the property without coming back to the commission for a different rezoning.
Pflantz also expressed some concern about parking as currently she has seen several cars parked and heard gunshots while Matt is teaching carry and conceal classes.
Matt Courtney said he would “swear” he has no plans to install a shooting range, but does currently teach carry and conceal classes.
In addition to the paintball field, Courtney said he would like to eventually have a tack room to sell supplies and repair equipment and some place to sell food.
The commission also asked about parking and bathroom facilities as Courtney will need to contact the Department of Natural Resources to find out about permits concerning drainage.
Courtney said this is all new to him and did not know he would need to do that, and Teya Stice, county land use coordinator, indicated she would help him contact the DNR.
On a final note, Courtney said he would have specific colored paint, so if someone’s personal property be damaged by paint, he will know immediately if it came from someone using his field.
The second hearing on the request will be held on Feb 24, at 7 p.m.