Voters reject changes to guns, zoning rules

Posted Nov. 03, 2010, at 11:59 p.m.

Voters reject changes to guns, zoning rulesGREENBUSH, Maine — A proposed firearms discharge ordinance and a localized version of state shoreland zoning were rejected Tuesday in a pair of town referendum votes.

The proposed firearms discharge measure, which failed in a 290-198 vote, was drafted after local officials fielded complaints from residents whose neighbor engaged in gun-related activities, such as target practice, sometimes at night or other inopportune times, Town Manager Robert Littlefield said Wednesday.

He said the residents complained to police, who told them that nothing could be done because the town lacked a firearms discharge ordinance.

The ordinance would have prohibited the use of firearms, including air rifles, spring guns, bows and arrows, slings, trapping devices and other forms of weapons on town property, including schools, ball fields, parks and playgrounds, cemeteries and the local landfill.

It also would have banned shooting between 7 p.m. and 8 a.m., with the exception of legal night hunting, for the defense of life, property or livestock, by on-duty police officers and at firing ranges enclosed in soundproof structures, according to a copy of the ordinance provided to the Bangor Daily News.

The proposed ordinance also included rules for outdoor firing ranges and establishes penalties for violations ranging from $100 to $1,000.

Littlefield said that the localized version of state shoreland zoning rules, which failed in a 272-205 vote, were based on existing state mandates but did not include references to natural features that don’t exist in Greenbush, such as tidal pools.

The local version also would have placed authority over timber harvesting in shoreland zones with the state alone, as opposed to the state and local authorities, Littlefield said.

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