Commission Discusses Nudist Retreat

By: Leona Liu, Rae Chelle Davis Email
By: Leona Liu, Rae Chelle Davis Email

The Shawnee County Commission discussed the future of a nudist retreat among several other issues at their meeting this morning.

Webb and Julie Garlinghouse own the nudist outdoor recreational facility located a few miles southwest of Topeka, at the corner of S.W. 53rd and Indian Hills Road. With its native prairies, secluded wooded areas and refreshing waters, the clothes-free colony seeks to "promote Naturist values and lifestyles to the general public and to providing a protected environment in which members and their guests may enjoy an atmosphere conducive to living a naturist lifestyle," according to the Lake Edun Foundation website.

Yet the Garlinghouses' idyllic mission is stymied for now. Their permit for the Lake Edun property expired on December 31, 2002. These days, a new conditional use permit is needed in order to host recreational activities on the premises.

The Garlinghouses attempted to obtain the Commission's approval for one today, but the Commission decided to defer it until a variance has been ruled on by the Shawnee County Health Department.

The Commission is looking into public safety issues surrounding sewage and water on the property. Once their decision is made, it will be placed back on the Commission's agenda.

The Commission also unanimously approved a pistol and rifle range for use by the Shawnee County Sheriff's office. They haven't had a range for a few years now. The new one is located on Metropolitan Transportation Aviation Authority (MTAA) property near the south boundary of Forbes Field. The five and a half acres will be primarily used by the Sheriff's Office, but also other law enforcement agencies. It will be open seven days a week, from six a.m. to midnight.

THe Sheriff's Office says the times of use are liberal. They will only use it during those late hours when they are training in different lighting conditions.


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