Camping on private property up for vote in IOW

Published 11:49 am Wednesday, September 19, 2012

To the Editor:

For all the many citizens who believe that free, law-abiding tax-paying people should have the right to simply “camp out” occasionally on your own property here in Isle of Wight County, I need your attention.

For the last few years, there has apparently been a law on the books here in IOW County that you may not do any such activity anywhere except in a permitted, county-approved campground. I ran afoul of this law last fall, not knowing it was illegal.

Since that time, I have complied with the law, educated myself on the topic and made every effort to work with the county to get what so many of you have told me was a “completely ridiculous” law changed.

In that time, I have had no luck with the Planning Commission or the Board of Supervisors to have our freedom restored for this wholesome, family activity.

The final vote on this issue will be made at the 5 p.m. Board of Supervisors meeting on Thursday, Sept. 20.

If you see it as your civic duty, as I do, to work to make our community better and more free to exercise our ancient rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, while not infringing on our neighbors’ peace, then I encourage you to make your wishes known to your district supervisor by that date, or attend the meeting that evening.

Now is the time. If we fail, it will be necessary for us all, to remain law-abiding citizens, to pay $1,300 for a campground permit if your grandchildren want to “have a sleep-out” in a tent or RV in your own backyard.

This is no exaggeration. The law specifically prohibits it all, including tents.

I hope to see you at the meeting.

J.R. Ferguson