Monday, July 30, 2012

The Growing Police State: Produce of Your Labor Edition

H/T The Other McCain

In rural Virginia, about 50 miles west of Washington, DC, lies the village of Paris, VA.  Near this village sits the Piedmont Agriculture Academy LLC.  This Animal-Rescue farm is the latest victim of the Growing Police State.

In addition to rescuing animals, the farm produces a variety of products, from textiles to honey, which it then sells.  In June 2011, PAA received a business license for the operation of a "retail farm shop."  This was a fairly basic transaction, not unlike a variety of farms across the county.  However, the county apparently has decided they're not getting a big enough cut.

Enter the Police State.  Fauquier County's Department of Community Development (an incredibly Orwellian name), passed a retroactive Zoning Ordinance which amended their Zoning Code to include a "Farm Sale" use category which, in essence, invalidated the legally applied for and received business license of the PAA.  In short, a retroactive law has shut down the commercial operations of this Animal-Rescue farm.

This is yet another example of the ever-expanding Police State.  As Stacy McCain says, "Zoning is the closest thing to fascism most Americans will ever know, and it's remarkable how local governments use zoning laws to limit the rights of the little guy while rewarding the wealthy and well-connected."  Frankly, I think he's wrong.  It's not "remarkable" at all, local governments are often more corrupt than State Governments, because fewer people pay attention, and, under the guise of "resource allocation" local governments are often far less transparent.

The simple fact is that this ever creeping growth of the behemoth that is Government will only stop if we stop it.  In this case, I hope the people of Fauquire County completely repopulate the DCD with people who are pro-capitalism, not pro-corporation.  In general, I urge you to get involved with your city and county- to prevent exactly this kind of thing.

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