Friday, August 17, 2012

Private Property Rights - Family Farms - #4133 -UPDATE: Fauquier County Virginia Vintners Taste the Police State - File Lawsuit to Protect Private Property Rights - Washington Examiner

While the Obama administration is busy eviscerating private property rights at the federal level, Republican-controlled Fauquier County, Va., has decided to follow suit in its own way. Fauquier's Board of Supervisors recently passed a winery ordinance that tramples private property rights and some fundamental civil liberties. At the center of all this is the county zoning administrator, a bureaucratic czar named Kimberley Johnson, whose bullying and heavy-handed enforcement tactics have resulted in calls for her dismissal by county farmers and residents. Johnson was recently the subject of a citizen-farmer "pitchfork protest" in a matter in which she fined one farmer for conducting a pumpkin carving and a birthday party for eight little girls without the proper permit........Perhaps the most offensive provision of the ordinance authorizes "private personal gatherings" at wineries. Someone obviously forgot to tell Fauquier officials that in America, we don't need government permission for private personal gatherings on our own property. Yet even in their contempt for the freedom of assembly and private property rights, Fauquier officials limited the definition of "private personal gathering" to owners who reside at or adjacent to their wineries, and who do not market their wine at such gatherings. This means no winery signs -- no bottle labels, even, when owners hold private personal gatherings on their property, because that's marketing. The Fauquier ordinance clearly violates Virginia's Right to Farm Act, which guarantees agriculture activities of growing and selling. No county may use ordinances to inhibit these rights. Vintners are challenging the Fauquier ordinance in courts and are seeking legislative relief in Richmond. Perhaps, though, they and their patrons should form a Wine Party, and dispel the Fauquier government officials responsible for this lawbreaking and these trespasses on private rights.  Read more.........  Article contributed by Steve Peters.

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