Susan Feeley who operates Jimmie’s Market in Warrenton, and who sends out her daily email “Soup Blast” with all the latest county and town gossip, posed this question today when pondering the latest round of regulation of farmers by Fauquier County:
“I, personally, have a question: What makes someone a “farmer”, and eligible for all this extra leeway in zoning law? Can I open a branch of Jimmie’s Market at the foot of my driveway?”
Since Ms. Feeley posed a question that I am sure many Fauquierians are asking, I thought I’d just go ahead and answer her here for all to benefit from:
I believe these are the answers to your questions:
Q: “What makes someone a “farmer”, and eligible for all this extra leeway in zoning law?”
A: A farmer is traditionally defined as someone who raises crops or livestock for food or fiber.
(Clue: Except in Fauquier County, this does not include someone who raises horses unless they are for eating which is not widely done in this country, but is still done in Europe and other parts of the world. It also does not include rich land barons who call themselves farmers, get tax dollars for conservations easements, but never grow or raise anything for food or fiber).
Q: “Can I open a branch of Jimmie’s Market at the foot of my driveway?”
A: You might be able to; please answer these two questions:
1. Are you going to farm there? (see definition of farming above)
2. Are you willing to purchase your Constitutional Rights from the county for the $150 cost of a permit, plus the cost of satisfying all the other hoops you must jump through to be allowed to purchase the permit so that you can finally realize the Unalienable Rights that your Creator (with the approval of the Commonwealth of Virginia, mind you), has already bestowed on you?
That my dear, is what it takes in Fauquier County to be eligible for “all this leeway” in the zoning law.