The Ohio 6th District Court of Appeals yesterday reversed a Wood County Common Pleas Court decision that restricted the hours of operation for a private shooting range in Middleton Township.
The appeals court said Judge Robert Pollex should have received evidence to determine whether Jeffrey and Kathy Hall, the owners of the shooting range on King Road, were in compliance with state noise levels.
The case was sent back to Wood County for a new hearing.
In response to complaints from area residents, Middleton Township trustees asked Common Pleas Court in August, 2001, for an injunction to close the range until modifications could be made to ensure that bullets and bullet fragments did not ricochet or escape the range.
The trustees said that the range violated township zoning codes, and that prolonged and frequent shooting was a public nuisance.
In December, 2002, Judge Pollex ruled the firing range was a safety and noise nuisance to neighbors. The Halls entered into a consent agreement with the township on certain conditions.
But the Halls and the township could not reach agreement on the hours of operation.
Judge Pollex issued an order that the range could be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and no longer than three hours continuously on any particular day or 10 hours during a week.
Wood County Prosecutor Raymond Fischer, who represented the township in the lawsuit, said he could not comment until he reviewed the decision.
Mr. Hall said he had not read the opinion and wouldn't comment.