Neighbors angry over Cherokee County shooting range

By: Berndt Petersen

Updated:

CHEROKEE COUNTY, Ga. - Folks who live in the tiny Cherokee County community of Waleska say nobody ever disturbed the peace around here - until now.

"It sounds like a war zone most days. Today's a little quiet, but normally there's shooting from 8:30 in the morning to about 5 or 6 in the afternoon,” homeowner Mike Bieger said.


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It’s called Garland Mountain Sporting Clays, skeet shooting.

"It's a very family-oriented sport. It's a sport,” owner Jack Chevalier told Channel 2's Berndt Petersen.

Chevalier said he has now been operating for 18 months, with county approval. He told Petersen the facility has become very popular with shooting enthusiasts visiting from all over the south.

"I didn't get in this business to be a bad neighbor. Unfortunately, almost every gun range in existence has gone through some type of complaint,” Chevalier said.

Neighbors who oppose the range say they are not anti-gun. They’re pro-peace and quiet.

"We live out in the country. We enjoy our guns and target practice. But it's not going on from sunrise to sunset,” homeowner Denise Polydor said.

"The noise has got to stop. Our quality of life has gone down so much, we don't have peace and quiet - which is why most of us moved out here,” Mike Bieger said.
 
Some homeowners say the county never held a public hearing on the range, so they never had a chance to formally oppose it. This week, they named the county in a lawsuit.

 

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