Big government kills a local family farm business

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From Freedom Foundation: Lopez Island residents, Nick and Sara Jones have operated an organic farm for the past two years. Customers have used a cash box and the honor system to purchase seafood and beef from a small farm stand near the road. The Jones Family Farm was running smoothly until two weeks ago when Nick received a letter from San Juan County. The county wants Nick to upgrade his stand to comply with commercial building codes–including upgrading handicap access. Nick estimates the commercial upgrades to cost approximately $25,000.
Nick states in the video that he’d be more than happy to put up a sign for handicapped individuals.  He’s put up a telephone number and then come out to serve that customer. 
Why did the County wait so long to finally declare that the farm needed to upgrade?  If it was so critical, why didn’t they ask for this some time ago?
San Juan County has harassed Nick and Sara Jones to the point where they have finally given up. What has happened to their small retail farmstand? Thanks to the San Juan County Council, they are closed.
h/t Scott Roberts

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12 responses to “Big government kills a local family farm business

  1. I’m so sick of government and all their “requirements” and dollar signs in their eyes. If they don’t get a piece of the pie, I tell ya, they will make your life a living nightmare. Greedy, pushy jerks.

  2. Yup! 🙁

  3. The EPA is trying to close a chicken farm near us. They have law school interns working on the filing against them. A farm that has been in their family for generations will be lost due to the massive legal bills the family has incurred. Farm runoff can be a problem but they are vigilantis when it comes to their investigations.

  4. Let me tell you how ridiculous this is. San Juan County is comprised of a beautiful group of four small rural islands in Puget Sound off the coast of Washington State with a total population of around 16,000. Lopez Island is the 2nd smallest. They are served by the Washington State Ferry system, the only public transportation to the mainland. The lifeblood of the Islands is tourism. Forcing a tourist-attracting farm stand out of business just doesn’t make any sense at all!

  5. Big Government Sucks!
    They discourage the entrepreneurial spirit and drive honest, hardworking everyday people out of business for petty reasons. Where were they when Bernie Madoff and Jon Corzine swindled billions?

  6. The government watches over a lemonade stand making sure it has a permit and pays taxes but they don’t catch six billion dollars errors and Gov. Corzine. They don’t watch over the bundling of improperly procured mortgages. They watch over election fraud in Russia but fail to prosecute in the US with the Black Panther intimidation, the caucuses in Iowa and Texas and the fiasco of a comedian receiving more votes than there are registered voters. Something is seriously wrong.

  7. San Juan County did not file any action against the farm store, nor did it order expensive updates to the building. Mr. Jones was selling frozen meat, fish and live shellfish from an enclosed building containing electrical equipment including pumps, freezers and refrigeration equipment. The County advised him he needed to apply for a permit so the County could review it for compliance with code and safety standards. There was never a suggestion that the store would have to close while the permit issue was dealt with.

    • If Mr. Jones and Freedom Foundation are incorrectly reporting the facts, you should contact them to advise they report accurately on this story.

  8. They have been advised.

  9. hey sage,
    god forbid they reduce their potential clientele by 15%. Would you?

  10. DCG,
    Done. EFF is on notice that they are enabling people to think they are victims of local government rather than their own negligence.


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