Family fights for farm – what is to become of rural America?

This is a story that sure rang a bell with me. We focus most often on the Federal and State governmental intrusion. But for those of us who have had family farms or rural acreage, many of us have seen the wanton destruction of our lifestyle by local officials.

We chose or were born in the boonies. Then one or more of the city types move in. They become active politically because it is the Progressives way. They want to run the Planning and Zoning or be vocal as hell, that too is the Progressives way. They will tell us how to live. Let me cut to the chase.

Our property had been in the family for 6 generations. Zoning came in. Half of our property was zoned “Open Space” which meant pretty to look at but essentially worthless. The commercial portion was zoned Residential. You can guess the value of that portion of land.

The Zoning Officer, much to be feared.

So here we go with a great story for a Labor Day Weekend. I wish the family much success. I hope they have deep pockets.

“The local government can change the zoning of any parcel of land on a whim,” says Reason Foundation’s Adrian Moore, “it’s being played out basically on crony politics rather than any kind of real, objective standard.”

H/T: News Alert

Notes from the video:

Roughly a three hour drive from Detroit, Mattawan is a rural community that is home to many small farms with many farm animals.

Yet Vander Kley Hunter had still checked before purchasing the property to make sure that having animals would be all right, and the township confirmed that farm animals were indeed allowed. But earlier this summer, the Hunters received a letter stating that their farm was no longer in compliance with the township zoning ordinance and that they had 90 days to get rid of more than half of their animals.

“It knocked the wind out of my sails,” says Vander Kley Hunter, “I was pretty depressed for awhile over it.”

Vander Kley Hunter says that her neighbor complained to the township about the animals, thus prompting the township to reinterpret the ordinance and state that the Hunter farm was out of compliance.

“The local government can change the zoning of any parcel of land on a whim,” says Reason Foundation’s Adrian Moore, “it’s being played out basically on crony politics rather than any kind of real, objective standard.”

Moore says that property rights have eroded vastly over the last 100 years in America, and that these kinds of issues should be resolved in the courts, not in the political arena that is far more susceptible to abuse.

“The fact that the neighbors are using the political process rather than the court system already says they’ve got a somewhat suspicious complaint.”

Moore says the only way to fight a political battle is with politics, and that the community has to rise up against the township. Luckily for the Hunters, the community has come to their aid and is speaking out against the township at regular town hall meetings.

“The support that we’ve received from all of this has been completely overwhelming, I’ve never experienced anything like it,” says Vander Kley Hunter.

Vander Kley Hunter is hopeful that the community’s support combined with her family’s persistence will be enough to save her animals.

%d bloggers like this: