Pleasant Plains looks at new regulations for campers

Residents say visitors don't abide by rules

BALDWIN - Pleasant Plains Township officials are looking at ways to curb problems with temporary campers in the area.

Township Supervisor Tammy Ghent said she has been getting numerous complaints from permanent residents about campers not abiding by the zoning ordinances.

"One property owner complained that they have several tents on their property that people are living in," Ghent said.

Deputy Township Supervisor Kevin Braddy said he has also been receiving a lot of complaints about campers leaving fires burning and leaving trash behind.

"I am proposing that we add a stipulation to the 120 day camping permits that allows us to revoke the permit if the campers are causing issues in the township," Braddy said.

"I feel that if we are going to continue issuing these permits, then we need to have something in there that will protect the full-time residents," he continued. "They shouldn't have to deal with trash left behind, fires left burning, and ATV's tearing up the roads. If people are going to come up here to enjoy the beauty of our area, that's great, but we need to be able to ensure the safety and protection of our permanent residents."

Braddy said last year campers left fires burning that the township fire department had to deal with, and they left roads torn up that the road commission had to deal with, and that is costing the township money.

"There are good campers that come up here and enjoy the area and leave it better than it was," Braddy said. "And then there is that handful that come and destroy things and then go home."

Ghent said because of the executive orders stemming from the coronavirus pandemic, they have not been able to issue any permits because it was not an essential service, but campers have been allowed to come to the area if they have vacation spots there, and that has created an issue.

"We have to follow the executive orders," Ghent said. "We allowed them to bring the campers up, and, as soon as we were allowed to, we started issuing permits.

"We need to have some controls in place for the camping permits, and we need to do a little better job of regulating that," she said. "So, I think the stipulations is something we need to consider."

No action was taken on the permit regulations. The item will be taken up again at the next township board of trustees meeting at 6 p.m., June 20.