Allowing campers on your land
My family and I love to camp. But with the increased popularity of public campgrounds, it's become somewhat difficult to find a nice spot where you're not right on top of the next campsite. Campers want to feel secluded, like they're a part of the great outdoors. If your land has the natural beauty of a park, campers may approach you.
Whether you'll let people camp on a commercial level or just plan to have a few friends over to enjoy the scenery, Community Planner Aaron Steele advises contacting your local government to check regulations. You may have to apply for what's called a "conditional use permit".
"Generally what you'll have to do is put together a proposal that describes what you have in mind, at what level you plan on operating your camping facility, how much traffic you expect to generate, how you plan on handling the sanitary needs of your campers and that sort of thing," says Steele. "And then that application will be reviewed."
Steele says the process of applying for a conditional use permit for camping allows the local government to consider the conditions on a case-by-case basis. It'll weigh the uniqueness and environmental sensitivities of your property. For example, is there a stream that runs through it? Is it in a flood plain? Are there steep slopes? And how it will affect the neighbors?
Depending on the level of camping activity, you may also be required to have liability insurance.
"If you're talking about just having friends and relatives over occasionally to your property to camp out for the weekends, your homeowner's insurance may cover that liability," says Steele. "But definitely if you get into anything commercial, or if you just do it at a high enough intensity that it happens often with a lot of people, you definitely I think would want to look into some additional levels of coverage."
Be sure you also lay out clear expectations of the campers, such as where a fire can be built and what to do with trash.
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