ST. CLOUD -- After a contentious public hearing, the Stearns County Board of Adjustment denied a request that would've helped open the way for a new trap-shooting range near Pleasant Lake.

Almost 100 people crowded the board room Thursday night, many of whom opposed to the range. The variance requested was so the range could be less than the normally required 500 feet from a commercial building. Bryan and Lisa Brophy were requesting they be allowed to build their range 345 feet from a commercial building.

The building in question has yet to be built, however, it will be Shamrock Leather, which is owned by Brophy's. They primarily make trap-shooting accessories.

Bryan Brophy also coaches the local Apollo High School Trap Team. He says the range was so kids could have more time to hone their craft. Bryan Brophy says he wants his neighbors to know he's not trying to fight them.

"These people are going to be my neighbors, I hope to get to know them better, and I hope they get to know me better, and for them to understand I'm not the bad guy. I'm just trying to make more opportunity for the kids to enjoy the sport of trap-shooting as much as I do."

Now that the request has been denied, and their range is in limbo, Bryan Brophy says they'll look at re-working plans. He says some of the reason for the denial is on them.

"Probably take a look at the site plan and see if we can reconfigure things. As one of my neighbors, who I respect said, this was partially brought on by us, and we could've done things better. So we'll take a look at that, and see if there is something we can do."

Bryan Brophy argued the range was already allowed within existing zoning regulations, except for the variance he requested. He also said the range would add value to the property it was going to be built on.

Over a dozen people spoke during the public hearing portion of the variance request. The concerns centered around noise, property values and safety. Over 170 signatures were gathered as part of a petition to have the board of adjustment turn down the variance request.

A few of the speakers made clear they weren't against trap-shooting, just the location of the range.

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