From our News Partners at WCBD-TV:
From the outside, the one story building at the end of May Lane seems like it could fit in with the community. It's what the owner wants to put in the inside of the building, however, that has neighbors saying it will be anything but a good fit.
"I just don't think we need a gun shop here," Virginia Boyd said.
The Old Village Armory has been under a cloud of controversy for the last month, as word spread that the town approved the building permit, even though it's near a school, churches and several homes.
"This is a unique case," Mayor Linda Page said.
While it may be unique, Page said the town's hands are tied. The land is zoned for a business, and the town does not make the business owner meet any additional requirements just because the owner plans to sell guns.
"If you are in an appropriate zoning, there's no extra requirement to go through with a gun shop, so to speak," she said.
The town can limit the location of a business if it is a strip club, tattoo parlor or gun range. The Old Village armory doesn't fall under the gun range as it will only be selling the weapons.
The Federal government has a set of regulations the store must follow, but that's up to federal agencies to enforce, not the town of Mt. Pleasant.
Some neighbors have suggested building a fence around the gun shop and building a road to bring traffic from Coleman Boulevard instead of down the small May Lane.
Page said that type of dialogue is the best strategy the neighbors can take. While she said the idea could work, the town cannot force the owner to follow the suggestion.
"There could be some compromise, if [the business owner] could coordinate with the neighbors and come up with some sort of way to open the road to Coleman Boulevard," she said. "But see, that's private property. The town can't force that issue."
Several neighbors have created a petition asking the town to stop the building of the store. So far, the online version of the document has close to 200 signatures. Community organizers said they will present that petition to the town at its council meeting Tuesday night.
Photo Credit: Stephanie Frey Shutterstock