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Site Planning and Land Use

            Site planning and efficient use of the land being considered for development are key ingredients to good facility design and its long term acceptance and success. Careful analysis of the land and what it can sustain, matched with a thorough review of the potential customers who might use the facility, maximises the site’s potential and shows quite accurately the possible financial returns as well. Clay-Sport has many years of experience with this important design task, and is unsurpassed at maximising the potential use of a site, while maintaining the character and natural integrity of the land.

            Our design process typically begins with an initial visit to the proposed site to assess the capabilities for development of the land. At this time, we carefully consider all sensitive issues relating to land use, as well as all man-made, natural and environmental factors which could be impacted or that might limit the development of the area. Factors such as site size and orientation, adjacent land use and neighbours, topography, slope and aspect, existing on-site access and buildings, all forms of water bodies, surface and sub-surface drainage, soil types and horizons, water table fluctuations, archaeological sites of importance, existing vegetation, and future development for the surrounding area.

            With this inventory of site and demographic information, combined with our sustainable land use approach, we can begin to answer the question of “What can be built?” However, in order to accurately calculate the business potential of the project at this time we also create a user profile by carefully analysing the demographics of the customers our client hopes to attract to the facility. With this detailed knowledge we can then answer the more important question of “What should be built?”… Although the land might support a particular type and size of facility, if the client base is not suitable or available then it might not match the preferred user profile then never reach its potential and consequently it could fail.

            Once we have a thorough understanding of what will ultimately be built our job is to then prepare a Master Plan for the project. This is a comprehensive document that outlines what is going to be built, and includes numerous details that demonstrate the scope of the project. These details include an overall Site Layout Plan (showing the location and extent of all proposed activities and structures), illustrations showing design intent and architectural motif, capital and operational budgets, and a detailed report.

            This plan typically forms the basis of the presentations to any planning authority to obtain approval for a development permit to proceed with the project to completion. Clay-Sport regularly deals with government planning departments at various levels, as well as agencies such as FEMA, EPA, OSHA, and the Corp of Engineers.

            In addition, our Master Plans typically provide the basis for the business and marketing plans for any given project.

Environmental Planning and Stewardship

            The awareness and consideration of potential environmental impacts to rural areas have become fundamentally important to the approval for development and ultimate success of all types of recreational facility; in particular for shooting ranges. Some of the more significant concerns to the public today are elevated noise levels in peaceful communities, safety from gun shots, lead pollution, increased traffic volumes on the access roads, wildlife disturbance, habitat degradation, and storm water runoff. Of these, noise and safety are typically of great importance to neighbouring properties and their owners, whereas the potential for lead pollution can cause serious concern for a greater number of people over a much larger area.

            Using many years of professional experience in the areas of environmental planning and stewardship however, CSI carefully studies the site’s characteristics then produces designs that minimize any impacts. During the initial planning stage our design approach carefully considers all sensitive issues concerning the local and adjacent environments. From sound attenuating technologies to lead management strategies and calculated lead management plans, our designs make every attempt to ensure that all environmental concerns, whether perceived or real, are minimized.

            For the users of the facility, our designs often instil an appreciation for and awareness of the natural environment they are enjoying by the use of appropriate landscaping, and by incorporating eco-signage that identifies significant natural features.

            Demonstrating a responsible attitude towards the land and acting as a responsible neighbour and member of the local community undoubtedly plays a key role in how successful a range can be.

The Master Plan

            A Master Plan for a shooting range or multi-use facility is an invaluable guidance tool that identifies to the client, the planning authorities and the adjoining property owners exactly what is being proposed for development. It clearly shows what is going to be built and where it will be located on the property; and it also identifies the phases the development might require as well as the timeframe each phase will take to complete.

            In addition, the capital and operational budgets included in the Master Plan typically form the backbone of the business plan for presentation to banks or other investors for capital loans to take the project to completion. It also provides details that can be used in an effective marketing programme to attract members or corporate clientele through introductory or initial offerings.

            This plan is presented for approval to the planning authorities (in a format acceptable to their local regulations), and becomes an effective tool to assist in obtaining approval for the project. With planning regulations becoming increasingly more stringent in many countries, the master plan becomes invaluable to ensure a project has the best chance for approval and sufficient financing to take it to completion.

Planning Approvals

            The legal planning process for the development approval for a new facility or renovation or expansion of an existing one is well defined. Although modifications and exceptions sometimes occur, depending on local circumstances, planning authorities at all levels expect this procedure to be followed.

            Clay-Sport is very familiar with this process, and our design approach and our associated products (site plans, illustrations, detail design, grading plans, environmental assessments, lead and sound management strategies, etc.) meet and often exceed what is typically expected from a development application such as a shooting range or multi-activity resort.

            Our knowledge, experience and complete understanding of the planning and approvals process at all levels of government put Clay-Sport in a strong position to represent our clients efficiently and with the best chance of success.

Public hearings

            All applications for development must stand the test of the public hearing... These hearings allow any interested member of the general public to attend where they can voice their support for or opposition to an application for a development. These meetings are very often crucial to an application being approved or denied.

            Once again, Clay-Sport has considerable experience of these meetings and can either represent our clients, or provide them with the necessary colour illustrations and reports to represent themselves. These products are very effective visual tools that clearly show the design intent and extent for the property, but they also identify and address the sensitive issues that might be a cause for concern for the neighbouring property owners or the public at large.

            As additional support, Clay-Sport’s extensive experience in the many areas of facility development and in the shooting sports (amongst many other recreational activities) offers our clients a strong, effective response to sensitive or technical questions from either the public or the planning officials.

Detail Design

            Once a project has been approved for a development permit, CSI begins the task of identifying the specific details for the design for submission to obtain the permit. Although CSI takes great care to ensure as little impact as possible to the site’s characteristics and environmental integrity when designing the Site Layout Plan, details such as erosion and storm water management plans, grading plans and lead shot management plans are very important to the success of the submission. In order to calculate these however, all roads and pathways, parking lots, buildings, structures and any other impermeable structures have to be located on the plan at the correct scale and size and showing any altered grading at this time. The finalized plans are then submitted by our clients or by CSI or both for approval of the development permit.

Tender and Construction Drawings

            When required, CSI can produce tender or construction drawings for all the structures, buildings, roads, grading plans, or utilities infrastructure we design for our clients. Not only do these initially act as a very effective means of obtaining accurate quotes or bids for their construction, but they also give the building contractors a detailed set of plans they can use to build them to completion.

Construction Inspection / Supervision

            CSI has worked with many professional design teams and construction crews, and can provide construction inspection and supervision at all stages of development if required. This service ensures that the design intent is maintained, and the construction standards are upheld to the client’s expectations.

Equipment Supply / Installation

            CSI has worked with many shooting equipment manufacturers, and can offer recommendations on what equipment best suits the needs of the client, the overall capital budget, and the facility design. With a large (and still growing) selection of equipment to choose from, our experience ensures that you receive invaluable advice on this capital item.

            We can also offer equipment installation services during the construction phase of the development. Our technical support has a broad range of experience on many makes and models, and offers advice and training on operation and maintenance as well.


Market, Business & Management Plans

            The core strength for the true success of any facility lies in its ability to demonstrate positive financial success; particularly if a client is looking for investment capital… CSI has extensive experience in all aspects of marketing and managing shooting or multi-use facilities, as well as capital and operating budgets; which accurately demonstrate the financial viability of a project and become the basis for the business plan.

            The financial models (budgets) we have created to determine a facility’s potential have successfully passed the scrutiny of some in the accounting profession. Based on this, we are comfortable in the knowledge that this work can be a powerful tool to attract investment, or to demonstrate to the client themselves where the potential lies.

Special Events

            For over 16 years now CSI has been a leader in creating numerous prestigious events that today are taken for granted on the shooting calendar. From televised celebrity events, to major corporate outings, to world championships, and to our own television mini-series of Make-A-Break shooting shows leading up to the latest Make-A-Break show in Branson , Missouri , Clay-Sport has played a significant creative role at all levels. Using this experience we can offer clients a professionally designed and run event of any size or magnitude.

            This considerable experience however, is put to very effective use during the initial design phase for a facility as well. Based on the size of your project and its market potential, CSI’s design process carefully considers the potential for special events of all sizes and how the facility design could best accommodate them.