After more than three years of public complaints, noise testing, measuring lead levels, meetings and staff reports, the Pitt Meadows Gun Club has a set of rules to operate by.
Neighbours told council they are still not happy.
The sport shotgun club based on 129th Avenue will be able to shoot trap and skeet on Wednesday evenings from 6-9 p.m. and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
It can host up to eight additional special events per year, with no more than two per month, and no event can be more than eight hours in length.
The club will be held to a regimen of environmental testing and monitoring, due to concerns about lead contaminating water and soil. These will be posted on the club website.
Neighbours began complaining to council about the club in the spring of 2017, saying the frequency of shooting had increased. They brought concerns about noise levels, lead in the environment, public safety and permitting issues.
One of the complainants was club neighbour Frank Vogel. He told council last week about his “utter disappointment and rage” over the new rules for the club.
Vogel said the noise level testing was flawed, because too few shooters participated. He accused the city of giving the club what it wants, while he has lost income from his property being used as a wedding venue, due to the sounds of gunfire.
Another neighbour, David Pitt, expressed disappointment with the new rules, and said “incessant” gunfire interrupts his enjoyment of his property. He said the rules will allow the club to host two shoots in each of July and August.
“It’s possible for me to lose half of my weekends in the summer.”
Mayor Bill Dingwall responded that Vogel has been a strong advocate for the community, and said council did listen to concerns about noise and environmental issues. He said there will now be a requirement for soil testing, and told Vogel “I can assure you, you had a part in that.”
Dingwall said neighbours could only be completely satisfied by the shutdown of the club, but council does not have the authority to do that. The club has been operating since 1946.
He said the last council proposed five special events per year, and more with permission. The current council felt that was too open ended, and instead approved a limit of eight.
“This council felt it was important to cap it,” said Dingwall.
City hall was informed that the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy is in the process of developing Environmental Monitoring for Gun Clubs regulations. By requiring lead testing, the city would make the club responsible. Ultimately the province has the authority and jurisdiction to deal with any enforcement or remediation issues related to