Glock approved to bring public training facility to Carroll County
By Kennae Hunter [bleep]@times-georgian.com Nov 3, 2022 Updated Nov 3, 2022
During the Carroll County Board of Commissioners meeting on Tuesday, representatives from Glock, Inc., a Georgia corporation, were present to speak on their rezoning request to ultimately develop a Public Safety Training Center in the Whitesburg area.
The applicant, Glock, submitted a request to rezone a portion of tax parcels 196-0015 and 203-0004, which is approximately 385 acres out of the larger 4,000 plus acre combined tracts from agricultural to industrial along with a conditional use permit. The location of the property to be rezoned is fronted by Jones Mill Road, Hutcheson Ferry Road, West Carroll Road, McLarty Road and Highway 5.
The purpose is to build a private public safety training facility, which would include an indoor and outdoor shooting range surrounded by the remaining agricultural land. Glock will use the facility to train public and private security personnel from around the world on the use and operation of firearms and related machinery and equipment.
Glock has operated a public training facility at its corporate campus in Smyrna for many years and is experienced in operating facilities such as this one.
According to Glock’s application for rezoning, the use of the subject property will not have any adverse impact on traffic in or around the property because the facility will not be open to the general public. The proposed use is not one that will result in large numbers of people or vehicles accessing the property at any one time. Glock proposed to acquire the 4000 acres of property with plans to develop less than 10% of it for the facility.
According to Glock, the public will benefit from the development because the corporation will be providing a “much-needed facility” for training public safety officials in the “safe and efficient use of firearms.” Other than the 385 acres proposed for development, the remainder of the 4000 acres will remain in its original condition and continue to provide habitat for wild animals and a dense forest to cleanse the air and forestall development.
Glock plans to construct a number of buildings on the property to create spaces for classroom training, including inside shooting ranges. Additionally, they will develop outdoor shooting and training facilities all in accordance with the guidelines for such facilities adopted by the FBI. They have not done surveying and engineering studies to confirm final plans, but Glock anticipates at least three separate buildings on the property, per the application.
Carroll County will benefit from this development as the facility will draw visitors from around the state of Georgia, the country and the world. Those visitors will spend money in the county and have the opportunity to “grow to appreciate its many positive attributes.” Glock anticipates the facility will be unnoticed due to its rural setting and will have no adverse impact on the county including the neighboring and nearby properties and residents because of the buffer.
While there were people in favor of the development, there were multiple citizens speaking against it who were mostly concerned about the possibility of noise from gunfire.
The request to rezone the proposed property from agricultural to industrial with conditional use for the public safety training facility were approved by the commissioners 5-2 with stipulations.
The stipulations include approval is limited to Glock, Inc. and its affiliates and subsidiaries, the allowed use is limited to the public safety training facility including the indoor and outdoor shooting ranges and related buildings, and the rezoning will revert back to agricultural if the property is no longer owned by Glock. Truck terminals and all other conditional uses for industrial tracts currently listed in Carroll County zoning regulations are prohibited. All requirements for shooting ranges set forth in the Carroll County Zoning Resolution shall be satisfied prior to issuance of a certificate of occupancy.