After a bitter battle at the Ellis County (Kan.) Commission over the zoning for a local campground, the project has been resurrected, according to the Hays Post.
Since May when the C2T Ranch’s request was denied, Chad and Cynthia Tuttle, owners of the ranch, applied and received certification as an agritourism business.
This designation is an allowed use under the Ellis County zoning regulations, which means the Tuttles do not need to apply for a conditional-use permit to pursue expansion of its campground, said Mason Ruder, environmental planning supervisor.
Chad Tuttle said he thought this was precedent-setting for the county.
“It’s going to be a major change for Ellis County, and we are finding that a lot of other counties are having to go through this big change too,” Tuttle said. “We are now advocating at a state level for counties to recognize agritourism operations, which are very broadly defined — much more broadly defined than (Ellis County Commissioner) Butch Schlyer would have you believe.”
Ellis County Commissioner Dean Haselhorst and Commissioner Neal Younger, who both voted against the C2T’s conditional-use permit, expressed concerns about safety at the campground during the May commission meeting.
They said they were worried about how the campground would be evacuated in the event of flooding. The campsites are along a portion of the Saline River.
Younger said he did not wish to comment further on the project other than to say he hopes that no dangerous incidents arise at the campground.
Tuttle explained aspects of the campground’s emergency plan to the commissioners at the May county commission meeting. Some aspects of this plan include a water tanker available to use in fire suppression, an early warning emergency system for campers that uses cellphones and a storm shelter.
The Tuttles will still have to follow all state water and sewer regulations, Ruder said, including regulations that govern structures built in a floodplain.
The Tuttles have already completed nine primitive camping sites of the 12 that are planned, two camping sites with electrical hookups and one glamping site.
Tuttle said he hopes to add another glamping site and four more powered sites by fall.