PITTSBURG -- A former firearms training range last used by Pittsburg police in 2001 is slated to reopen.

At a meeting last week, planning commissioners, on a 5-0 vote, gave approval for the range to be reactivated.

The half-acre range site is located in a valley at the southern end of the 190-acre Stoneman Park, a hiking and open space area.

"From a logistical standpoint, it makes more sense to train officers closer to the city," said Pittsburg police Lt. Ron Raman on why the department is moving its firearms training from the Contra Costa sheriff's facility back to the former site.

The range, which is fenced off and has berms, would not be open to the public. The site would be used from 20 to 30 days a year for firearms and other training, such as traffic stops, said a staff report that recommended approval.

Most training would occur during daytime hours. When training is taking place, signs will be placed at the gate of the trailhead at the southern end of John Henry Johnson Parkway.

Jennette Borcic, who lives near the range, expressed concerns about potential noise that could result from firerams training.

"I don't want to feel like I live in a war zone," she said. "The (Keller Canyon) landfill is up the hill. I can hear them shooting some kind of firearms to scare the birds away."


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The nearest homes are more than a half-mile from the range site, the report said.

Sound testing was done in March at three locations closest to the facility -- San Remo Court, Jacqueline Court and Alta Vista Circle -- to determine whether gunfire at the range could be heard in nearby residential areas.

"Staff feels very confident the combination of the distance between the facility and the site and the location within a valley will really prevent anyone from hearing anything from the discharge of firearms at the facility," Dana Ayers, Pittsburg's planning manager, told commissioners.

The site is adjacent and uphill from land leased from the city by the Diablo Valley Radio Controllers, whose members fly remote-controlled model airplanes.

"I don't foresee any problems," with plans to reactive the range, club president Mel Nash said after the meeting.

Contact Eve Mitchell at 925-779-7189. Follow her on Twitter.com/EastCounty_Girl.