Skip to comments.Virginia vintners taste the police state
Posted on 08/17/2012 5:56:23 PM PDT by Lorianne
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.
Most of the wineries are mom and pop operations. Some, though, have been more creative in marketing, employing more people, and generating revenue. The county thinks such success must be punished.
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 and a birthday party for eight little girls without the proper permit.
The winery ordinance is Obama-esque, passed under the pretext that it protects the health, safety and welfare of the public. It forces wineries to close at 6 p.m. and prohibits sale of food -- something that goes quite safely with a taste of wine -- unless the wineries obtain special permits from the zoning administrator.
The ordinance lists prohibited winery activities such as hot air balloon rides, farmers' markets, and mini-golf, which assuredly threaten the health, safety and welfare of the public, right?
Among the prohibited activities, the ordinance includes anything else determined by the zoning administrator "to be similar in nature or in impact to" the listed activities. That's the equivalent allowing police officers to ticket drivers for nearly anything they wish.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonexaminer.com ...
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The regulators, bureaucrats, and administrators are a law unto themselves. The normal system of checks and balances does not apply to them. The constitution doesn’t apply to them. They have the power to issue any regulation they like and then bankrupt you in court if you fight it.
They are monarchs. They are the real seat of power and against them there is no appeal.
Ha ha, VA was one of the bedrocks of moonshining.
I have to think there’s enough of the old gene pool still there to make this a laughingstock.
PING to the nanny State for the Homebrewers List!
The BTK murderer took a long break in his murderous rampage.
Why you ask?
He was deriving enough pleasure administratively torturing people as a code enforcer that he didnt feel the need to Bind, Torture and Kill young women.
What does that tell you?
A farmer zoning matter involving a bullying, lawbreaking bureaucrat, and featuring the "pitchfork protest" in Northern Virginia's Fauquier County on August 2 has gained an unusual amount of national attention, and for good reason...
Had the same situation in (Very Red) El Dorado County Kalifornia where our planning dept. was taken over by over zealous bureaucrats.
As I owned both commercial and farm property I watched as
Commercial was required to have paved parking, farms not, Farms started having weddings, live bands, serving food and did so with less restriction than commercial.
Retailing goods and services on farms was cheaper than on commercial - lower property taxes etc.
I could go on with long and involved comparisons of what was allowed by one zoning and not another but farmers wanted the right to use their land as though it was commercial but with less restrictions or the advantages of being a rural farm.
I’m all about everyone having a chance to make $$$ but saw much disregard for the other problems that went along with farm land use anarchy
Sound Ordinances, traffic restrictions, health dept oversight
At the end of years of arguing I feel our county did a good job of airing out most of these problems in a fair way to all. It has resulted in more freedoms for all our land users here and a fun place to live.
El Dorado County took over 25 1st place ribbons at the state fair this year and we have distinguished ourselves by allowing our people to prosper and build a proud wine drinking community
What is odd is that we did it in Kalifornia but then again our county seat is still called
Republicans + conservatives across this land must understand that the game has changed since O has taken big govt to an monstrous level. The liberals and some Repubs follow the momentum and do things like ban kids from having lemonade stands. The decks are set against us so heavily now that all conservatives must band together against this tyranny. Or they should be hounded from office.
” “pitchfork protest” “
I’m guessing the petty bureaucrats were completely oblivious to the symbolism here...
(Otherwise, the local cops would have gotten involved, shooting pets and tasering children...)
I am in Fauquier county. At the risk of getting flamed, the wineries are abusing the laws a bit. Unregulated, any one can move into a rural area, open a ‘vineyard’, bring in tubs of cheap california wine, have little ‘woodstocks’ every weekend and make a pretty good killing. The neighbors have traffic jams, amplified music at high volumes and going on until the wee hours, drunk drivers. Since it is an ‘agricultural’ business, any buildings are exempt from building inspections. You ought to see the structures that these yoyos are erecting for the city folk to waddle thru..I am not allowed to spray the weeds on my fence along the road because of the vines, yet the wineries are applying as many as 36 spraying a season of God-knows-what on the ground. This ‘chemical $hit-storm washing into my ground water, the streams that my livestock uses. The livestock that you eat. It is so dangerous that the people applying it wear the white bunny suits then shower in a special detox stall.
I agree, pumpkin carvings and birthday parties for little girls top the list of things that are crying out for more gov't regulation. I mean the first that springs to my mind when I wake up in the morning is that we don't have enough gov't regulations.
Thanks for sharing. I feel a whole lot better about stopping those eight little girls from having a birthday party now.
That whole civil rights thing is a real pain in the ass, ain't it? Getting rid of government oversight and kneeling to bureaucratic masters is the perfect solution. As you've clearly pointed out, look at what happens without it!
Counties controlled by both Democrats and Republicans are doing the same all over the country (although sooner in the West): stopping all potential competition against a few politically approved individuals and even regulating against certain downscale property owners without businesses (fake environmentalism, animal worship, property values). Some of you see the results all around us (economy, hysterical politics, threats from political groups, etc.).
Just a matter of time before these MARXISTS meet their mark.
Just keep pushin.
My wife’s parents live right next door in Placer County. El Dorado is producing some excellent wines. I love visiting there. You can almost forget that San Fran is in the same State.
Just what we need...more regulation. That's the crux of your present problem.......ill thought out regulations.
I imagined there was a whole lot more to the story than the alarmists would reveal.
I appreciate hearing the other side of this.
I would like to see a good solution that maximizes liberty for all. I would like to see the real issues on the table. If this is not about kids’ birthday parties and pumpkins, then I’d like more honesty about what the real issues are.
I know about the hazmat suits they use to spray vineyards. I would not want those toxins near me or my family or my livestock and pets.
Yes, because when it comes to properly judging the respective merits of various human activities there is no more capable instrument than a government bureaucracy. Just ask those 8 little girls whose birthday party was ticketed.
Are you denying this happened or just saying that fining people who hold parties for little girls is acceptable collateral damage in the regulatory war on businesses you don't like?
Try not to be so obtuse. If these vintners are in fact polluting the environment, if they are in fact doing what the earlier poster (who, by the way, happens to live there. Do you?) claims, then yes, government needs to shut them down.
Government has a legitimate function, viz. to enforce the law. You come across as completely antigovernment and thus, as a kook.
To use your logic, just because a messycan drug cartel operating out of Arizona happens to host a birthday party for children does not make them exempt from obeying the law.
I was expressing my appreciation for hearing the other side of the story. I dislike it when liberals and the MSM only tell the part of the story that favors their narrative. And I like to hear the part that we conservatives may be tempted to leave out as well.
I’m in favor of freedom to do what you like on your property. I’m also in favor of some sort of reasonable limits. Most of us would not like it if the neighbors had rusted-out cars covering their front lawn or if they held noisy all-night parties every night that prevented us from sleeping.
When the liberals trot out the sad-eyed children and say “It’s for the children” regarding every issue they are pushing, I find that disingenuous. I just want to make sure that we are not guilty of the same thing.
If I lived closer I would have considered joining the pitchfork protest. But I would hate to jump on such a bandwagon and then find out that I’d been suckered into something because they were only telling me the part of the story that generated sympathy for their side. I would not want to be used as a prop in something that was not a matter of principle but was only staged to line their pockets. And yes, I’m very much a capitalist, but I dislike it severely when someone pretends that something is “for the principle of it” when it is really all about money.
I like honesty. I like to hear the whole truth, not just the part that furthers someone’s particular agenda.
That's not what happened, is it? I posted the picture of the little girls at the party. Did you see the picture?
I think its plain that most people would gladly give up their freedom in exchange for the right to mind their neighbor’s business.
For some people, freedom is an intolerable burden. When that number reaches critical mass, freedom is gone.
When your kid can be fined for selling lemonade in front of your house, and when you can be fined for having a kids’ birthday party, and when you can be jailed for running over a field mouse with your tractor, you no longer live in a free country.
Most people don’t miss it.
“If these vintners are in fact polluting the environment” - LA
Then they should be ticketed for pollution. What on earth does this have to do with a small birthday party for little girls?
They fined them for a BIRTHDAY PARTY!
(I wonder if the ordinance was passed by a small city council of @8 people, that we be my guess)
Fauquier County, VA, is pretty much the heart of Virginia’s “hunt country” the seat of the super wealthy estate holders from DC. The Kennedy’s were regulars out there (Middleburg, VA is on the Fauquier/Loudoun border) the owners of the Washington Post, and basically, all the biggest money’d folk from DC. Hence “Republican” in the Rockefeller-RINO way... who will do anything to “protect” their ritzy horse farms.
It’s really very beautiful countryside, but I’m not surprised at snotty local bureaucrats of any political party...protecting their super-rich patrons.
Even the “protect the battlefield!” movement of about 15 years ago....that blocked a Disney historic park near there, was nothing but the rich horsey set who drummed up emotional support from around the country. The proposed park was over 10 miles from the Manassas battlefield (and EVERYTHING in Northern Virginia is 10 miles from SOME battlefield).
The real issue there was the horse-country folk didn’t want the traffic of the little people near their estates.