“We like our darkness,” said Chris Hetlage, the developer of an unusual village taking shape on a hilltop about 40 miles southeast of Athens. “That’s really why we’re here.” Georgia’s least populous county leads the region in a tourist commodity that is as rare as it is unusual: dark skies. That’s how Hetlage and fellow stargazers from Atlanta ended up creating Deerlick Astronomy Village, a secluded subdivision of high-tech, private observatories sprouting from 96 acres.
1) Build a community that encourages individual ownership of land plots for observatories and home sites
2) Support the needs of amateur astronomers by leasing observatory/storage area sites,
3) Establish a large common observation area to support individual member access, as well as to support various public and private events and
4) 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.
Would an hour commute be worth stargazing?