PASCO COUNTY, Fla. — Arthur Vizzi, father of competitive skeet shooter and Olympic hopeful Dania Vizzi, filed a legal complaint against Pasco County regarding a personal skeet shooting range on rural property he owns just off of Bellamy Brothers Boulevard in the Dade City area. The range is being used by Dania Vizzi to train for the 2020 Olympics.
- Family says county put up "untenable requirements"
- Complaint states county overstepped authority
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“I think the family believes it has absolutely every right to use their property for skeet shooting,” said Jonathan Ellis, an attorney for Arthur Vizzi.
The complaint states that before Vizzi and his wife purchased the 52 acres of land, they were told by Pasco County’s Central Permitting Department that a personal skeet shooting range could be installed as long as it wasn’t for commercial use.
“What happened when the Vizzis wound up going through the process, Pasco County started to put some untenable requirements on the Vizzis ability to use their property for skeet shooting,” Ellis said.
Recommended conditions from the county included building noise buffering features, like a wall or earthen vegetated berm at least 20 feet tall. Another recommendation would’ve required the Vizzis to agree pay for legal representation for the county in any litigation that arose from use of the skeet shooting range.
Ellis said putting these and other requirements into effect would’ve cost the family more than a million dollars.
“It became, I think, clear to the Vizzis that Pasco County wasn’t interested in reaching a resolution with them, but rather Pasco County was specifically designing some type of resolution in which the Vizzis could not comply,” Ellis said.
The Vizzis withdrew their conditional use request late last year. On November 26, the county sent their attorneys a demand that the family demolish and remove shooting stations and any other improvements made to the site by December 15 or face possible penalties and fines.
The current complaint against the county claims that under a state law known as the Joe Carlucci Uniform Firearms Act, the county overstepped its authority by trying to regulate the range since it’s on rural land and not operating as a business. It asks the court to order the county not to pursue code enforcement activity related to the range.
Ellis said as of now, the range remains and Dania Vizzi continues to train there.
When contacted for comment on this story, a Pasco County spokesperson said the county does not comment on pending litigation.