Carefully considered, the language of our Zoning Ordinance, Article 2, 2-102, General Effect tells the citizens of Fauquier that they may not to do anything on their property unless it is allowed by these ordinances.
The ordinances, although voted on and passed by the Board of Supervisors, are often largely written and proposed by special interest groups with a focused agenda.
(For instance, compare the two versions of the Fauquier Winery Ordinance posted on this site.)
The Supervisors who pass our ordinances while elected by the people, are unconstrained by the Constitutional checks and balances that govern our State and Federal officials. Therefore, they are free to implement ordinances that may well violate the rights, particularly the property rights, of citizens within their jurisdiction.
If an ordinance violates the rights of a citizen, the only recourse is often an expensive and protracted legal battle.
That is why our choice of Supervisors is so important.
Last Tuesday at the Candidate Forum, the philosophy of our two candidates for Cedar Run Supervisor was clearly articulated by each, and although they agree on many things, their differences could not be clearer.
Mr. Gerhardt believes that although The Cedar Run Supervisor’s responsibility is to represent the people of Cedar Run, Supervisors also take an oath to enforce the county ordinances, and that those two things must be balanced.
While recognizing his duties as Supervisor to uphold the ordinances of the county, Mr. Sherbeyn believes his most important responsibility is to represent the people of Cedar Run. If ordinances are bad or outdated, he has not been afraid to pursue changes.
Mr. Gerhardt stated that there are some things he is non-negotiable on, for instance he considers the Purchase of Development Rights (PDR) program to be “a sacred cow”. He indicated that even if the county needed the money for other priorities, he would not vote to curtail that program, even for one year.
Mr. Sherbeyn unequivocally stated that although he values PDR, and has benefited from it on his own farm, it is a luxury and that if he had to decide between programs such as schools or public safety; he would have to vote to suspend it in favor of the greater good of County residents.
I believe if you are a citizen of Cedar Run, you have a clear decision to make on June 9th. Will you vote for Mr. Sherbeyn who has demonstrated over the last 3 years that his priorities are the needs and desires of Cedar Run residents, or will you vote for Mr. Gerhardt who believes those needs and desires must be weighed against the County Zoning Ordinances and PDR?