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County weighs historic label

POSTED: September 29, 2010 4:00 a.m.
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The Dawson County Commission may consider labeling Lumpkin Campground as a historic area, which could change inspection standards for structures located there.

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The Dawson County Commission could soon examine the possibility of labeling certain locations in the county as “historic.”

  

The idea arose after county government officials met recently with Lumpkin Campground’s board of trustees, who oversees the 180-year-old church meeting area.

  

Board of trustees chairman Larry Taffar said changing Lumpkin Campground’s designation could “simplify things” for those who use it as well as county officials who are charged with inspecting it for safety.

  

County Manager Kevin Tanner said labeling the campground as historic would mean inspectors check that basic safety requirements are met on all structures.

  

Most of the structures at Lumpkin Campground are “tents”— or cabins used for 10 days each year during the annual Campmeeting event.

  

If the board of commissioners approved a historic designation for Lumpkin Campground, “tents” would not be held to the same inspection standards required of, say, a $300,000 home.

  

“If something is designated as locally historic, it would allow the building official and the fire marshal not to enforce the same building codes, they would just have to ensure the structure met basic safety requirements,” Tanner said.

  

He added that it would be a first for the county.

  

Taffar is hopeful that the board will approve the measure.

  

“We don’t mind getting a general building permit for safety,” Taffar said. “We just don’t want to have to go through all the hoops and tests required ... just to use these buildings for one week out of the year.”

  

Added Taffar: “We’re hoping commissioners will come up with something that everybody can live with.”

  

If approved, Tanner said the designation “would be very restrictive.

  

“It could not be a residence or an operating business,” he said. “It would have to have been used for the same thing for a certain number of years.”

  

Commissioners plan to discuss the matter at an Oct. 14 work session. A vote could follow at the next regular board of commissioners meeting.

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