Mequon gun range proposed 
Indoor facility would be in industrially zoned area

By Gary Achterberg - News Graphic Staff

Oct. 15, 2015

MEQUON — Mequon residents could soon practice target shooting with their guns and rifles at an indoor range that a city couple wants to build in the city.

Members of the Mequon Planning Commission unanimously approved a text amendment Monday that would allow indoor sport shooting ranges as a conditional use in areas of the city now zoned industrial. The matter was informally discussed by the Common Council Tuesday and will return for action in November.

Mequon residents Mark and Cheryle Rebholz told the Planning Commission that they want to develop a range to provide a place for area residents to use firearms. Cheryle Rebholz said a growing number of individuals are obtaining concealed-carry permits, but there is “nothing close and convenient” for them to practice.

She said she has considered building a shooting range for the past two years.

“I’m very excited to bring this to our city,” she said. “I looked at Grafton and Cedarburg. I didn’t want to go there because I live here.”

Kim Tollefson, Mequon’s director of community development, said the request to consider the zoning change was proposed by Dale Mayr, who represents District 3 on the Common Council. She said she has been studying the specifications and requirements in other municipalities as specifics for Mequon are crafted.

The action now underway will not lead directly to approval of the project; it simply changes the zoning code to allow it. Developers would then come back and present a specific plan, which would be considered.

Tollefson said allowing a range in one of the city’s industrial districts is a natural fit. The city has two areas zoned industrial. One is the industrial park near Donges Bay and Baehr roads. The other is near the northwest corner of the city.

During a discussion during Tuesday’s Common Council meeting, the potential developers said they had a site in mind just northeast of North Port Washington and West Donges Bay roads. That area is now zoned for a business park, not industrial. Council members directed Tollefson to take a closer look at the proposed location and report back in November.

No Common Council members spoke against the general concept of a shooting range during Tuesday’s discussion.

Mark and Cheryle Rebholz told the Planning Commission they intend to work with a Utah-based company with expertise in developing shooting ranges as they move forward. They said that company just completed work on a range in Richfield.

Their initial plans call for a range that would include six lanes appropriate for handguns and two intended for rifles. The building would have 6-foot-thick concrete walls and an air-handling system that quickly removes fumes and other materials produced by firing weapons.

The proposed zoning change would not allow for the sale of weapons at the site, although rentals would be available. Commissioners decided to permit the on-site repair and servicing of firearms.

David Fuchs, a Planning Commission member, said a shooting range has “long been needed” in the city. He said there are plenty of people who have a concealed-carry permit who never have been to a shooting range.

“It sounds like you’re doing it right with a professional designer,” he said.

Gary Achterberg can be reached at