Oak Ridge North City Council moves forward with Robinson Road gun range plans

Council members discussed plans for a new gun range on within Oak Ridge North's extraterritorial jurisdiction on Robinson Road on July 13. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Council members discussed plans for a new gun range on within Oak Ridge North's extraterritorial jurisdiction on Robinson Road on July 13. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)

Council members discussed plans for a new gun range on within Oak Ridge North's extraterritorial jurisdiction on Robinson Road on July 13. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)

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The final plat of Copeland Gun Range at Robinson and Elder roads was approved by Oak Ridge North City Council July 13, pending the addition of structure outlines and additional reserve information. (Courtesy Oak Ridge North)
A proposed 20,000-square-foot gun range off Robinson Road east of Oak Ridge North's city limit moved closer to development July 13 after City Council approved a plat and utility services agreement for the range property.

Plans for Copeland Gun Range, a development by Salado-based Pistol Holding LLC and its president, Jerry Copeland, include an approximately 20,000-square-foot facility located northeast of the intersection of Robinson and Elder roads within Oak Ridge North's extraterritorial jurisdiction. According to a presentation made by the range's development team at the council's April 13 meeting, the business will feature pistol, rifle and archery ranges along with a gunsmith, classrooms, a sales center and offices across two floors.

Council members unanimously approved a 7.087-acre plat for the range at the corner property during a regular council meeting held via videoconference July 13, with the condition additional structure outlines and plat information be included or confirmed on the final document.

The main property will be divided into two reserves of around 2.29 acres and 3.59 acres, based on the approved plat, in addition to around 1.2 acres of right of way along Robinson and Elder roads expected to be dedicated to the city. The smaller, southern reserve at the curve of Robinson Road is restricted to commercial use and will be the site of the range facility.

Prior to approving the plat, council members also discussed a utility infrastructure development agreement with Pistol Holding that would provide city water and sewer services to the range. The agreement was first requested by the Copeland team, as the facility is located just east of the city limit but cannot currently be annexed and receive city utility services due to its location within Oak Ridge North's ETJ on land that is not adjacent to the city. Members of the Copeland team have expressed their desire to have the range annexed into the city in the future when possible, and they have said the range's projected $7 million assessed property value and millions of dollars in annual sales could benefit the city's future tax revenues as well.

The development agreement between the city and Pistol Holding had been previously discussed by the council before it was finalized and approved during the July 13 meeting. Through the agreement, city impact fees will be used to reimburse a portion of the project, and the city would also reimburse the cost of upgrading the size of the developers' planned water line to the site. A portion of city impact fees from future development along that water line will also be used to reimburse the Copeland project.

City officials said the proposal would benefit both Oak Ridge North and the gun range, and the council unanimously approved the development agreement after confirming the scope of the plan.

"We’ve gone over it a number of times, me and [Director of Community Development John Beisert] and [City Manager Heather Neeley] and [City Attorney Chris Nichols], and we think that it matches up with what the council had intended as well as what the developer wanted as well," Public Works Director Joe Sherwin said prior to the vote.
By Ben Thompson
Ben joined Community Impact Newspaper in January 2019 and is a reporter for The Woodlands edition.


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