Deerlick Astronomy Village
The Deerlick Astronomy Village, DAV, is a unique planned community catering to the specific needs of amateur and professional astronomers. DAV is located in the very dark skies of Sharon Georgia, far away from big city lights but at the same time convenient to many major metropolitan areas in the South Eastern USA.
The Deerlick Astronomy Village is a development project started by myself and a friend, Donovan Conrad, a fellow astroimager. Back in the early 2000's Donovan and I spent a lot of time imaging together in remote locations around Atlanta Georgia. Our collective dream was to have our own observatory someday, after all we weren't getting any younger and hauling all our equipment around was getting real old! Don and I joined our local astronomy club and pushed hard to get the club to organize itself around the goal of someday purchasing a permanent dark sky site where members could build their own observatories. Unfortunately things in astronomy clubs do not move fast and Don and I set out to do it ourselves.
After looking at dark sky maps and economic growth proejctions for the state, we began to look specifically at several areas within 3 hours of Atlanta. We soon found that it was going to be very difficult to find a small, isolated, plot of land that would work for our purpose, only large plats like 100 or more acres were being sold. More and more it appeared that if we were to meet our objectives we were going to have to look into doing a much larger project then a site just for the two of us. We decided to look into what it would take to develop our own subdivision that uniquely catered to the needs of amateur astroonomers.
Our first step towards reaching this vision was organize ourselves, create a business plan and to form our own corporation. We formed an LLC called the Deer Lick Group, LLC, named after the Deerlick Group Galaxy Group, NCG7331. From there we began to introduce others to the concept and began to seek investors. The DLG now consists of the 2 founding members, Don and myself, and 4 investment members - who are also local amateur astronomers. Together we set out to build our dream.
One of the first things we did as a group was to establish a set of goals for the group.
It is the goals of the DLG, LLC to:
- Build a community that encourages individual ownership of land plots for observatories and home sites
- Support the needs of amateur astronomers by leasing observatory/storage area sites,
- Establish a large common observation area to support individual member access, as well as to support various public and private events and
- Establish common sense covenants and rules to protect the site from light pollution, provide for the safely of observing members, and at the same time, provide a location that is both family friendly and educationally significant.
A critical mission of the DAV is to protect the observational qualities of the site and to support a family friendly/safe environment for all. Towards this end each land owner and leasee will be bound by a deeded set of covenants that will be enforceable to ensure the success and longevity of the site. The primary objectives of the protective covenants are to:
- Light Pollution Controls to maintain the observational quality of the site Community Noise Controls mainly during the morning rest time hours
- Land Usage Controls to prevent unwanted development/usage of the site
- Buffer Zone Easements to protect the site from external issues, allow for common nature trails, and to protect the natural beauty of the site
- Nuisance Controls such as specific noise and smells that would lessen the quality of the site Building Restriction Controls to protect the communities values
Clubs, Schools, etc will have a slightly different set of deed restrictions than a typical land owner to allow for their needs