Driving liberals, dhimmis and illegal alien apologists absolutely insane since 2005...

Freedom For Liberty Farm

By Greg L | 4 September 2013 | Local Economy, Virginia Politics, Virginia Senate | 3 Comments

We like to think that local governments, being the closest to the people, are the ones that would be the most responsible. As we’ve seen too often in Prince William County, that’s not the case. There’s sadly no unique characteristic that makes a local government better or worse than any other level, but at least it’s a bit easier to remove tyrants and miscreants from office when their districts are smaller than a county.

One way to at least temper the damage that a local government can inflict on personal liberty is to get the General Assembly to limit the scope of local powers when those powers tend to be abused. Last year a Freedom To Farm bill was introduced by Delegate Scott Lingamfelter, reduced into nearly meaningless mush in a House subcommittee and then killed by a Senate committee. The bill, as introduced, simply said that local officials can’t infringe on your state and federal Constitutionally-protected rights, and imposed penalties individually on any bureaucrats that did so. That apparently wasn’t conscionable to business interests and the awful Virginia Association of Counties that spends your tax dollars trying to subvert personal liberty in the General Assembly. They, and their allies like Emmett Hangar and Ralph Northam don’t want any restrictions on local officials violating your rights, and killed this bill.

This upcoming session of the General Assembly should be quite different. As blithering idiots in Fauquier County continue to enforce absurd rules against Martha Boneta and justify their behavior by claiming that if Martha is allowed to hold a Bible study on her property without a permit the next thing she’s going to do is turn the farm into a strip club or a junkyard, folks are getting increasingly fed up. There’s a limit to our tolerance of outrageous behavior on the part of elected officials, and we’ve quite easily gotten to that point. Now it’s the citizen’s turn to hold government responsible, force aloof and disinterested knuckleheads like Hangar and Northam to actually represent their constituents for a change, and put a stop to this.

If even six year old kids are getting pissed off at this, the outcome during the next session of the General Assembly is going to be dramatically different than last year.  Freedom is on the march.

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  1. Jack Slimp said on 6 Sep 2013 at 8:20 pm:
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    Very nice video, and well done Dan.

  2. Fred Gruber said on 8 Sep 2013 at 6:18 am:
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    Marthais an absolute Patriot in her fight for Liberty and Freedom ! God bless her !! / Fred Gruber 9/8

  3. Chester said on 20 Sep 2013 at 8:51 am:
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    Here’s a gem response from the Libtard run, Birkenstock bound, end-of-the-earth do-gooder, Washington Post recycling dingbats from the Piedmont Environmental Council.

    It’s not land preservation folks. It’s confiscation and control, under the guise of conservation, to spread the grasp and wrath of liberalism.

    Our Conservation Easement on 64 Acres in Paris, VA

    A number of stories have been circulating the internet about an easement that PEC co-holds with the Virginia Outdoors Foundation on a 64 acre property in Paris, VA. We wanted to take this opportunity to present important facts which have been omitted from many of the articles that we have seen. We also wanted to be clear that issues pertaining to the conservation easement are separate from the issues this landowner has had with Fauquier County over citations for zoning violations.

    PEC purchased approximately 1232 acres of Ovoka Farm in 2000 from Mr. Phillip S. Thomas. When PEC acquired the property from Mr. Thomas, it was made up of 35 separate parcels of land. Over the next twelve years, PEC protected the property with conservation easements which limited the number of times it could be divided and specified permitted and prohibited uses of the land. PEC sold portions of the property (subject to easement) to public and private landowners, with a significant portion of it going to the National Park Service to realign and improve the Appalachian Trail as it passes through the area.

    As a non-profit, PEC received no tax or other financial benefits for the easements, but considers the protection of the iconic landscape surrounding Paris to be one of the organization’s signature accomplishments in its 41 year history.

    A 64-acre parcel, located between Route 50, Route 17 and Gap Run Road was sold by PEC to Mrs. Martha Malawer (now Mrs. Martha Boneta) in 2006. In 2007 she gave it to Piedmont Agriculture Academy, LLC, a Virginia limited liability company which she established and, to the best of our knowledge, still controls. The property in question is part of one of the most visible landscapes in Virginia, one that tens of thousands of people pass through each year. It is also visible from one of the most visited sections of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail, and is part of the open space that surrounds the village of Paris, one of the anchors of the Crooked Run Rural Historic District. Historically, the parcel was part of a farm surrounding “Liberty Hall” a house which dates to the 1840’s and stands today directly across Gap Run Road from the Boneta property.

    In order to preserve the property’s unique historic, scenic, and cultural values and to ensure its availability for agricultural use in future generations, the land was sold with a very protective conservation easement which allowed few changes to the exterior appearance of the property and allowed for just one residence: an apartment of no more than 1,600 square feet to be constructed in the large Barn Complex. The easement was intended to safeguard the historic and scenic values of the property, the farm soils, and historic structures and enhance water quality in the streams running through the fields. To protect the quiet, rural character of the Village of Paris, the easement also placed strict limits on the number of people who could visit the property each day in connection with the commercial or industrial activities permitted under the easement. The property was sold at well below market price due to the restrictions contained within the easement, and those restrictions were reviewed with and acknowledged by Mrs. Boneta, during the contract negotiations and again at the time of the sale.

    By purchasing the property with this conservation easement in place, Mrs. Boneta agreed to be bound by those terms — which included restrictions on the use of the property and a regular schedule of inspections to assure that the easement was adhered to.

    Since the sale of the property, PEC has attempted to work with Mrs. Boneta as she improved the property and developed her plans for the farm. We’ve engaged in a dialogue over which changes to the property are appropriate, given the significant scenic conservation values protected by the easement. At no time have we attempted to prohibit her from farming or keeping livestock on the property. Indeed, one of the express purposes of the easement is the preservation of the property for agricultural uses.

    Monitoring conservation easements is a standard procedure, required by the governmental agencies which oversee land trusts and easements. Most often, these visits are a friendly meeting between the landowner and land trust staff. Frequently, the land trust will take photographs while on-site to document the condition of the property at the time of the visit because staff can change from year to year and we need to know what the previous monitor had seen. We always make our best effort to respect the privacy of landowners, and make these visits as timely, efficient, and pleasant as possible.

    Unfortunately, we did not see eye to eye with Mrs. Boneta in regards to the specific implementation of our easement monitoring and enforcement responsibilities, particularly with respect to any residential use of structures on the property. We eventually ended up in court to clarify our right and responsibility to monitor the property to ensure the terms of the easement were being upheld. After over two years of litigation the case was settled in 2011, when all parties agreed to allow PEC to monitor the property consistent with the terms of the easement, including the right to enter both the Barn Complex, and another structure (known as The Smithy), several times a year to determine whether they had been converted for residential use. The terms of the settlement were entered as a Final Order by the Fauquier County Circuit Court on October 11, 2011. At that time, Mrs. Boneta agreed, and the Court ordered, that the Smithy would not be used as a residence except during construction of the barn apartment, and then only with notice to PEC.

    PEC and other land trusts across the country take our responsibility to uphold conservation easements in perpetuity seriously, and work hard to maintain positive relationships with landowners. We are saddened by the public misrepresentations about both the terms of this conservation easement and the facts surrounding the court case and its ensuing settlement, which was agreed to by all parties.

    Since conservation easements are agreements between a land trust and the landowner, we would not typically discuss the details of our relationship publicly. However, given the significant amount of misinformation now in the public arena, we felt compelled to put forward some of the missing facts of the case. We continue to wish Mrs. Boneta well in her farming endeavors, and will continue to work to maintain a professional relationship with her at all times.


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