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Daily Devotions


If you support our national security issues, you may love and appreciate the United States of America, our Constitution with its’ freedoms, and our American flag.

If you support and practice our fiscal issues, you may value worldly possessions.

If you support and value our social issues, you may love Judeo-Christian values.

If you support and practice all these values, that is all good; an insignia of “Wisdom” . - Oscar Y. Harward

Thursday, December 22, 2011

What NC General Statute(s) “empowers” Union County to “supersede” NCGS Agricultural legislation?

What NC General Statute(s) “empowers” Union County to “supersede” NCGS Agricultural legislation? 

As a personal response to: Union County Manager Cynthia Coto, Senior Staff Attorney Jeff Crook and County Attorney Ligon Bundy. 

It is in order to congratulate Superior Court Judge Chris Bragg for “following the law” in granting Jay Brown an injunction against Union County’s out-of-control, escalating legislated Board of Adjustments and Planning Department and in allowing Jay Brown to host a rodeo on his Wingate farm. Judge Chris Bragg’s judgment was an overdue decision. 

NCGS 106-581.1. clearly defines “agriculture” http://www.ncga.state.nc.us/EnactedLegislation/Statutes/HTML/BySection/Chapter_106/GS_106-581.1.html.  This statute exemplifies exactly as the NC legislators intended. 

NCGS 99E 30. Clearly defines “agritourism” http://www.ncga.state.nc.us/EnactedLegislation/Statutes/HTML/BySection/Chapter_99E/GS_99E-30.html. There is no logic to enhance or eliminate any other judgments to this statute. 

The Dictionary defines “agritourism” as a noun: “tourism in which tourists take part in farm or village activities, as animal and crop care, cooking and cleaning, handicrafts, and entertainments” http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/agritourism. 

SESSION LAW 2011-363 - SECTION 1.  G.S. 153A340(b)(2) reads as rewritten: http://www.ncga.state.nc.us/enactedlegislation/sessionlaws/html/2011-2012/sl2011-363.html 

For three (3) simple responses to Union County’s “illegal” local legislation: 

1)    Union County response: “In the response to Brown’s lawsuit, county officials denied Cross Creek is a bona fide farm according to state law. In Wednesday’s statement, county officials explained that a new state law allowed farmers to prove they operate bona fide farms using five different pieces of proof. Among those were the farm’s Schedule F income tax return from the previous year. “Brown’s attorney faxed the Schedule F to the County Attorney, but upon receipt, it was found that the Schedule F made no mention of the rodeo operation,” the statement said. “The statute provides a “safe harbor” from county zoning by listing five methods that a property owner can use to establish that his property is a bona-fide farm, and is therefore not subject to county regulation.” 

1)    My Response: Jay Brown has, through listing five methods by NC statute, and along with his Schedule F, has proven that he has a bona-fide working farm. It may not be necessary to list his rodeo operation separately. Does Union County plan to reject Jay Brown as a bona-fide farm if he is required to, chooses to, or allowed to, acquire other employees with tractors, combines, cotton pickers/strippers, or other equipment in his agricultural  operation?  

2)    Union County response: “Brown told the zoning officer that the horses and bulls that are involved in the rodeo events are not owned by Brown or kept on his property; they are brought onto the property by third persons, and the persons who participate in the rodeo events are not affiliated or connected with his farming operations.” 

2)    My Response: Based on Union County’s opinion/definition, if an individual did not own a tractor, a combine, cotton pickers/strippers, or any other pieces of farm equipment, the farmer may/could not qualify his farm as a bona-fide farm. If the individual chose and/or needs to employ other individuals to plow his/her land, combine his/her crops, bail his/her hay, etc., would/could Union County’s position declare this as non-farm uses of bona-fide farm property?  

3)    Union County response: “The North Carolina Legislature has delegated to the 100 counties in North Carolina the authority to regulate land, through zoning. In doing so, the Legislature limited counties’ zoning power by providing that counties may not regulate property used for bona-fide farm purposes. However, the Legislature further provided that counties may regulate farm property that is being used for non-farm purposes. Thus, the Legislature has declared that it is the policy of this state for counties to regulate non-farm uses of farm property.” 

3)    My Response:  Union County’s opinion/definition is misrepresenting and/or ignoring NCGS 106-581.1., NCGS 99E 30., and SESSION LAW 2011-363. as recently purified. When the NC General Assembly declares that “counties may regulate non-farm uses of farm property”, it should be clear that the General Assembly’s implications were intended to disallow otherwise, illegal businesses such as illegal gambling, dog fighting, houses of prostitution, etc.

In summary, Union County’s Board of Adjustments and Planning Department have expanded regulations beyond NC law that were never intended by the NC General Assembly and/or NC General Statutes. 

Union County’s citizens must become aware of potential frightening amendments of extending amendments beyond NC General Statutes. 

For example, there is a move to prevent homeowners from having a garden in their own backyard to eat and sale the produce unless it may be tested under federal health testing http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y0Auprw8f74 

The EPA is considering a crackdown on “farm dust”. Can you even imagine consumers food cost with the farmers’ cost to prevent dust on their farms http://www.news9.com/story/12899662/epa-to-crack-down-on-farm-dust?redirected=true? 

What may be next?  Will Union County’s Board of Adjustments and Planning Department make it mandatory for you to install the cost of a fire sprinkler system in your home or some other building? How much will that project cost? 

Will Union County’s Board of Adjustments and Planning Department require all residents to build an “explosion proof” building outside and away from your residence just to allow storage of a gasoline can, motor oil and/or additional lubricants, a spray paint can, or other burning/explosive items? Who would police this bloated government proposal? 

Finally, what section(s) of the NC General Statutes “empowers” Union County’s Board of Adjustments and Planning Department to “supersede” the agriculture legislation as referenced by the NC General Statutes? Please show me the NC General Statues. North Carolina law does not provide Union County government for this “magnified” local legislation! Union County government cannot mix a misrepresentation into law. 

It appears some of Union County’s government may be out-of-control  with their ownescalating legislated” initiatives. NC General Statutes does not authorize Union County’s government these radical actions. 

Superior Court Judge Chris Bragg is “right” on the NC law and his order will correct a wrong http://enquirerjournal.com/view/full_story/16865309/article-County-disagrees-with-judge-s-injunction-ruling?instance=homeleftmain3 

For the record, I have “never” met, seen, or even talked to Jay Brown. Protecting (y)our US and North Carolina Constitutional freedoms, US Code, and our NC General Statues are of most importance to all.   

Oscar Y. Harward

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