It is official. The Piedmont Environmental Council has come out of the closet. It is against “buy fresh, buy local.”
The PEC joined Fauquier County in opposing property and other constitutional rights of small farmers. Talk about the worst kept secret in the county.
H.B. 1430, the Boneta Bill, does three things in amending Virginia’s Right to Farm Act. It clarifies that farming includes the right of commerce so that small farmers can earn a living. It states that any county ordinance violating constitutional rights on farms is void. Lastly, it provides remedies against counties that violate the Right to Farm Act.
The Fauquier Times-Democrat quotes the PEC’s Julie Bolthouse saying, “The proposed legislation is unnecessary, overly broad, and would undermine the legitimacy of local planning and zoning statewide,” Bolthouse said. She is also quoted saying that the bill is “an attempt to allow commercial activities in rural areas without any county oversight, and is a direct attack on rural zoning in general.”
In case you’re wondering whether the PEC read the same bill that so many small farmers need and support, the answer is yes, they have.
Fauquier County property rights activist Rick Buchanan had this to say: “It seems that the PEC collaborated with county officials to limit farming rights in Fauquier County in the first place. With their open opposition to the Boneta Bill, they’ve exposed themselves as not for protecting the environment, but for violating farmer’s property and other constitutional rights.”
American Policy Center President Tom DeWeese commented, “As usual the PEC and their allies are trying a bait and switch tactic by saying this violates ‘local’ planning. That, of course, makes them sound like good little conservative Americans just concerned about intrusion by bigger government. They suddenly create images of stadiums and concert venues being built in rural precious land as paper tiger scare tactics, hiding the real issue.”
Mark Fitzgibbons, who spoke at the press conference introducing H.B. 1430, said, “The Boneta Bill protects agriculture and does absolutely nothing to impede zoning. It simply protects the rule of law on behalf of farmers. Farming is a livelihood, not a postcard of the 19th century, and constitutional rights are not ‘overly broad.’”
Speaking of coming out of the closet . . . .
Unlike Fauquier County, which never set foot on Martha Boneta’s farm but assessed charges anyway, the PEC has been to her farm. FFC has obtained footage. For an idea of the PEC’s view of property rights of small farmers, watch this video.
Oh, and you may want to play the Soviet Union National Anthem as a little background music while you watch. And, oh, we understand that there’s more footage.
Updates will be published