Stanly companies in General Business zones may have camping

Published 11:11 am Saturday, December 17, 2022

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Camping will be allowed in a general business district after a recent decision from the Stanly County Board of Commissioners.

Stanly County Planning Department Director Bob Remsburg presented a text amendment for commissioners’ approval at a recent meeting. The amendment allows land parcels of 12 acres or more zoned general business to allow camper trailer and RVs to camp.

Previously, statutes allowed for commercial recreational facilities but not camping. Vendors taking part in festivals, as well as RVs for working contractors on large projects, could camp.

The commissioners’ agenda packet mentioned Big Lick Festival Park as a place where contractors have stayed for several months while working.

According to the packet, the park’s new owners “plan to expand the camping on the property along with a new bathhouse and sewerage collection system.” Before the amendment, those changes were not allowed under GB regulations.

The planning department recommended changing the General Business section of the ordinance, adding in the packet that the park “plans to continue the festival grounds with activities such as the bluegrass festival, the antique festival, reunions and other gatherings. They are discontinuing the tractor pulls.”

Businesses with a “slightly smaller amount of property” may ask the Board of Adjustment for a variance, which would also require public input.

According to planning staff, only two other lots in the county zoned GB are more than 12 acres. Campgrounds are only permitted with a special use permit for properties zoned Residential/Agricultural.

“The Planning Board considered this carefully at their meeting on September 12 and determined that this was an appropriate approach to bring the Big Lick Festival Park into compliance while restricting contractor camping to certain areas,” according to the agenda packet.

Commissioner Scott Efird asked if the new owner of Big Lick Park planned to enlarge the facility. Remsburg said he does.

“Quite frankly, until he came to us with the proposal for the bathhouse and upgrades to the facility, I really didn’t realize this was happening on that property. You can’t see it from the highway,” Remsburg said.

He said the owners are looking to double the capacity to 40 campsites.

Commissioner Bill Lawhon asked the maximum length of time someone can reside in the campground. Remsburg said 10 months was the limit in the campground statutes.

“It’s very difficult to enforce. Obviously, we are not driving through Norwood Family Campground every 12 months to see if the same campers are in the same places,” Remsburg said.

Remsburg said the county only has three camping facilities, including the Norwood facility, Cotton Patch Gold Mine and Morrow Mountain State Park. RVs are parked, he added, at the Stanly County Fairgrounds and Big Lick Park.

Remsburg said contractors and workers camping may be working on projects in adjoining or nearby counties.

About Charles Curcio

Charles Curcio has served as the sports editor of the Stanly News & Press for more than 16 years and has written numerous news and feature storeis as well. He was awarded the NCHSAA Tim Stevens Media Representative of the Year and named CNHI Sports Editor of the Year in 2014. He has also won an award from Boone Newspapers, and has won four North Carolina Press Association awards.

email author More by Charles