The North Bend Eagle


Zoning changes pave way for new stores

by Nathan Arneal
Published 9/9/15

The North Bend City Council approved several changes to the city’s zoning ordinances at its Sept. 1 meeting. The changes were first considered and recommended to the council by the North Bend Planning Commission.

In order to allow Dollar General to build a store in the southeast corner of town, “discount retail sales establishments” was added to the list of permitted uses of a commercially zoned property.

A change was made to the definition of a “sporting goods store,” which is also on the list of permitted uses. The new definition excludes the sale and service of firearms and ammunition.

In conjunction with that change, the commercial sale of firearms and ammunition was added to the list of conditional uses of a commercially zoned property. This list is made up of businesses that are allowed but require council approval.

Councilman Tom Mullally said that firearms and ammunition should be covered by the definition of sporting goods store and remain on the permitted use list, since that is a regular feature of sporting good stores. He said if the potential gun store meets federal requirements, then it shouldn’t have to jump through more local hoops.

“I just don’t like more red tape,” Mullally said, “and I think they go through plenty to get to the point where they’re going to open a sporting goods store.”

The rest of the council said it agreed with the separation of firearms from sporting goods in order to make firearms a conditional use instead of a permitted use.

“As much as I like guns, I don’t mind the idea of going through a few extra channels because it is firearms,” councilman Tim Blackmon said. “I don’t mind having to go to an extra step for good reason. When it comes to this, I don’t mind a little more oversight.”

The changes to the list of permitted and conditional uses in a commercial zone were approved by the council.

Under the new guidelines, Steve and Sherry Raymond applied for a conditional use permit to open a firearms and ammunition store in downtown North Bend. Their business, Back Alley Defense, will be located in the rear of Bullseye Transportation, which recently moved into the building between the post office and Gambino’s Pizza most recently occupied by Floral Creations and D’Signs at 130 W. Seventh Street.

Upon hearing that the Raymonds have secured all necessary state and federal permits and are planning to install a security system, the council approved the conditional use permit, paving the way for them to open their store.

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