County commission consents to electricity for hunting camps

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By Nick Nunn

Staff Writer

The Board of Commissioners came to the consensus that electrical power should be allowed in hunting camps as long as everything remains up to code.

Chuck Jarrell, planning director, brought it to the attention of the board that he receives a lot of requests this time of year to allow the use of electricity at hunting camps.

Jarrell explained to the board that, although it had been decided years ago to stop allowing power to be added at newly created deer camps – existing camps with electricity were allowed to maintain their power – Jarrell felt that he should bring the issue to the attention of the current board, so they could give their opinion on the issue.

Citing safety considerations as the main concern with this issue, Jarrell also mentioned complaints about aesthetic concerns and people living in camps year-round, which is not currently allowed by Morgan County zoning ordinances.

Commissioner Phillip Clack was concerned that not allowing power to deer camps would cause more complaints than allowing it.

“If you have a deer camp, and they are not allowed to have power, then you could have potentially who knows how many campers with generators running,” noted Clack. “Generators are going to cause more complaints than having power.” Commissioner Ron Milton added that, without electricity, campers might resort to using gas heaters, which pose fire safety concerns as well.

Commission Chair Ellen Warren asked Jarrell about his opinion regarding the issue, to which he responded, “As long as the electrical service and electrical hook-ups are to code, I don’t see an issue.”

Responding to possible aesthetic concerns – namely, being able to see the camps from the road – Jarrell stated that, “Most of your hunting camps are up back in the woods and, unless you know they are there… they’re not going to be known about.”

Jarrell also noted the ease with which deer camps could create structures that would qualify them for power under existing ordinances, stating that a well or a 10-foot by 10-foot pole building would suffice.

Ultimately, the board decided to allow power to hunting camps, as long as they satisfied the code requirements involving electricity.

“That’s all I needed to know,” concluded Jarrell.

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