The Other McCain

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Tea Party Protest In Support Of Virginia Farmer Over Fauquier County Zoning

Posted on | August 2, 2012 | 17 Comments

by Smitty

First they came for the farmers. . . as was demonstrated at the Warren Green Building in Warrenton, Virginia. Previous reporting here. It was a pleasant summer day in what looked to be a quaint rural Virginia town. Not the kind of place you’d expect to be ground zero in the current national discussion of whether individual liberty matters in the face of the all-powerful regulatory state. Matters of zoning are as cogent as ObamaCare, we quickly find.

In the matter before the Board of Zoning Appeals on August 2, Fauquier Zoning Administrator Kimberley Johnson violated Virginia law in citing a Paris, Virginia farm for selling farm products grown and produced at the farm. Virginia law protects the rights of farmers to sell what they grow and agricultural value-added products such as hand-made soap, bees wax candles, jelly/jam, peach pie or even alpaca gloves or yarn.

“Fauquier County has crossed several lines by violating sensitive private property rights and individual liberty. The County is breaking the law, and is trespassing on the rights of farmers, wineries, and their patrons from and visiting the Commonwealth of Virginia. Perhaps even more egregious are the County’s Orwellian allegations that a pumpkin carving and a birthday party for eight 10-year-old girls transgressed the County’s zoning ordinance, and constitute grounds to cite and fine farmers.”

The Tea Partiers sang various paeans to Ms. Johnson, “Hey! Ho! Kimberly Johnson’s got to go!

Former Virginia Governer and U.S. Senator George Allen did not have enough advance notice to attend in person. The depth of his concern for Constitutional issues such as private property and liberty was more than adequately expressed, though. Former U.S. Senate candidate E. W. Jackson  delivered spirited remarks. Check back tomorrow morning for them.

The crowd was of sufficient size that the hearing room was filled to capacity, leaving the bulk of the 50 or so Tea Party protesters outside, where, in contrast to #Occupy events, no one fretted personal safety.

By around 2:40 PM, a despondent group of protesters filed out of the building, the Orwellian nature of the judgment weighing on them. Kimberly Johnson had found the farm in violation, inviting an Angela Corey comparison. Stay tuned as the effort to save liberty from bloody-minded, petty bureaucracy moves to the courts.

Here are a few other photos from the protest, as I shift to editing video.

The Northern Virginia Tea Parties are as about as dead as a Chick-Fill-A buycott. Kimberley Johnson, one anticipates, is going to find her position much less comfortable as this case unfolds.

Update: thank you, Instapundit!

Update II: linked at EBL.

Update III: linked at The American Thinker


  • Liberty Jane

    You aren’t kidding, Smitty! You should have seen what they did tonight in Culpeper.

  • Wl4ht9gfow

    I am in favor of free markets. But, I think you are twisting this story. It is about zoning not economic freedom. If the roads aren’t sufficient to handle commercial traffic then it can create a nuisance for the neighbors and a danger for children playing or if emergency vehicles need to pass through. Doesn’t the community have the right to restrict a loud night club from opening in the middle of a residential neighborhood? People have the right to live in peace and quiet and safety.

  • Evi L. Bloggerlady

    Farmers are there trying to make a living and individuals moving in want to shut down successful businesses and prevent them from operating.  I understand compromise and working together, but not at the expense of killing businesses that were there for decades for the benefit of a few new comers.  

  • Evi L. Bloggerlady
  • SDN

     Not if the farm was there FIRST, and they failed (or their realtor failed) to do due diligence before purchase. It’s the exact same issue as morons buying in the flight paths of a pre-existing airport and complaining about noise.

  • Bob Belvedere


  • smitty

    Check back Friday morning for a Tom Weese video that explains why this issue is far more Orwellian than mere zoning questions.
    Fauquier County is just 88 kinds of false here. In fact, this is precisely the sort of heavy-handedness that helped motivate the Founders of this country.

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  • Sand B. Flag

    It’s been like that in Fauquier for years.  The Fairfaxians move in for the slower pace and lower taxes then start demanding the same services they left at no cost to them.

  • McGehee

    I saw something in the post about state law that pre-empts what Fauquier County is trying to do. That’s what ya call “trumped.”

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  • richard40

    I disagree.  Remember the farmer was there first, and then the homeowners moved in on him, and then try to take away his rights.  In the false counter example you give, the homeowners were there first, and then the disruptive business moved in on them.  And a farmer selling some of his produce is nowhere near as disruptive as a night club.

  • richard40

    Its nice to see the tea party sticking up for the little guy against gov oppression.  It kind of ruins the false MSM narative of the tea party being an astroturfed movement created to benefit big corporations.

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  • Phred362

    The farmers in Fauquier were here first.  Back in the 50’s when land was cheap, people from DC bought up big tracts of land to go with their vacation homes.  They put a horse on the property and got agricultural tax breaks.  Developers move here to get away from the urban sprawl  they create.  Then, these dearly blessed landowners sell  land to conservation easements to deter development which  is tad amount to taking food stamps since it comes out of the taxpayers pocker again.  OUTRAGEOUS!!!!!  BTW, teaparty is the little guy.  That occupy corporate bs is just more mindcontrol off the boob tube that misinforms and keeps clueless entertained to distract them from the truth which is that their beloved government is lying to them.