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May 19, 1978 - Image 9

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Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1978-05-19

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The Michigan Daily-Friday; May 19, 1978-Page 9
Zoning board fixes gun shop

By R. J. SMITH
In a heated session the Ann Arbor
zoning board of appeals voted
unanimously Wednesday to deny a local
man's request to turn the old Foley's
Uniform Store at 929 E. Ann into a
firearms store.
Gary Stoddard, a University
graduate who currently sells guns, had
to submit his appeal to the board
because the gun shop would
significantly alter the mostly residen-
tial neighborhood near University
Hospital. Therefore, his appeal for non-
conforming usage had to be granted for
the building to be converted. Stoddard
had to convince the board that changing
the building would not markedly
change the nature of the neighborhood.
The shop would have sold firearms,
ammunition, telescopic sights, loading
and cleaning equipment, and other
shooting items. The noisy audience,
composed largely of students, voiced
their opposition to the prospect of
having a gun shop in the student-
dominated neighborhood near two
psychological clinics. Both clinics have
recently needed to step up security
measures due to escapes.
PROFESSOR Joseph Adelson, who
heads one of the area clinics, voiced
concern about the store's accessibility
to Ann Arbor's transient population.
"The neighborhood has a lot of distur-
bed people walking around; not from
our clinic, but there's a lot of strange
people in this town." He told the board,
"I think I'll be very uneasy if they are
able to go up and buy a gun easily."
One area resident said, "Guns do
kill."
At one point, board chairman James
Cmejrek admonished the audience:
"The issue is not whether you're for or
against gun shops, but against this
detrimentality that may or maynot be
found in the neighborhood."
Speaking after the board meeting,
Stoddard's attorney said "He has no
desire to set up a business in a neigh-
borhood where he is not welcome."
Earlier, Stoddard stood quitely as op-
0
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health of it.
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ponents hissed at his appeal.
"This is a very distinctive building
that stands out from other facilities but
doesn't dominate them," Stoddard told
the board. "It's conveniently close to
the University of Michigan's ROTC
shooting range, used by a great many
groups,"'he added.
STODDARD said police chief Walter
Krasny had indicated that the site he
chose for the gun shop would be a great
asset. He further supported his appeal
by saying, "I intend to ensure to the
best of my ability that firearms and
ammunition would not be put into the
hands of those who should not have
them."
Another cause for alarm to board and
audience was the building's construc-
tion, which is made of wood with a large
plate glass window in front. Stoddard
said he had taken precautions that
precluded any "reasonable" question
of theft. He said he made arrangements
with the Clark burglar alarm company
of Ann Arbor. He claimed all rifles and
shotguns, as well as ammunition would
be kept in locked racks.
Right now, Cochran's sporting goods
store in Ypsilanti and Fisher Hardware
in Ann Arbor are the only places in the
area where firearms can be purchased.
After Stoddard's appeal was denied,
his attorney Tom Darnton said Stod-
dard is looking at other locations in the
Ann Arbor area. However, the building
on East Ann will remain vacant for the
present time.

This was to be the location of the proposed gun store until the zoning board
ruled down the possibility.

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