Perhaps the signs at the road entries to Fauquier County should read, “Abandon hope — property rights, expectations of privacy, and due process of law — all ye who enter here.”
Northern Virginia Magazine provides a glimpse into the discriminatory megalomaniacs controlling Fauquier County in its March 2013 edition (“Welcome to Fauquier County, sorta”).
Focusing on the winery ordinance written by anti-property rights zealots and the battle to put Martha Boneta’s farm out of business using tactics with no discernible legal standards, journalist David Hodes exposes a very ugly side of our beautiful county.
The piece focuses on nearly simultaneous events of last year when Fauquier passed the worst winery ordinance in the country, and using trumped-up charges and threats of $5,000 fines per violation per day for things such as hosting a birthday party for ten-year-old girls, forced one farmer to close her doors.
The piece links those who are pulling the strings to county government officials acting to trespass on farms and wineries. What’s yours isn’t yours at all; it’s really theirs.
This megalomaniacal view has made Fauquier not the center of the war to preserve Virginia’s scenic beauty from becoming another Loudoun County with high-rise office buildings overtaking farms, but a laughing stock across the Commonwealth. It is a place where, if you challenge the power structure, they “look into” you, “dig deeper” to find dirt on you, and resort to petty insults. Some members of Fauquier’s high society and political elite aren’t mere snobs; they’re downright repulsive.
As FFC has reported, they spy on citizens who criticize them for their questionable legal behavior. They abuse power, violate laws, and practice discrimination and cronyism.
Barrel Oaks Winery proprietor Brian Roeder is quoted: “This is a country that respects land rights and for you to say that your land rights extend to everyone else isn’t the meaning of what the Constitution is about.”
The real estate/political elite also get ugly — very ugly.
The article quotes Phil Thomas, the real estate developer from Middleburg who owns a vacant house across the street from Liberty Farm in Paris. Martha Boneta bought that farm under an easement from the Piedmont Environmental Council, which had used that land for private parties while the barn was literally becoming a trash dump ready to collapse.
Martha spent tens of thousands of dollars cleaning up the barn and making it structurally safe. Now it’s a more valuable piece of property, and a target for real estate vultures — if they could only drive her off her property with frivolous lawsuits and harassment.
To this end, the megalomaniacs colluded with county officials, who violated laws and made frivolous mystery charges without ever setting foot on Boneta’s land, hence the threat of fines hanging over Martha’s head. Zoning Administrator Kim Johnson claims security cameras at the farm are ruses to film a “reality show” without a permit. County official Andrew Hushour says specifics really don’t “matter because we have a lot of stuff on her [Boneta].”
Phil Thomas is quoted, “I will do whatever it takes to help preserve this countryside we call home.”
Indeed. In Fauquier County, that obviously means crossing lines and bullying.