Wednesday, January 18, 2017

The Red Tape Times (article 15)

Source: Institute for Justice 

The petty tyrants on the Henniker, New Hampshire zoning board authority have prohibited tree farmer Stephen Forester from hosting weddings, despite the fact that it fits within their definition of agro-tourism.
II. The words "agriculture'' and "farming'' mean all operations of a farm, including:
(5) The marketing or selling at wholesale or retail, of any products from the farm, on-site and off-site, where not prohibited by local regulations. Marketing includes agritourism, which means attracting visitors to a farm to attend events and activities that are accessory uses to the primary farm operation, including, but not limited to, eating a meal, making overnight stays, enjoyment of the farm environment, education about farm operations, or active involvement in the activity of the farm.
It's common sense that eating a meal, making overnight stays and enjoying the farm environment would all be part of a wedding. Of course, the statute does not list hosting weddings or every conceivably permissible activity that would fall under marketing. Despite this lack of clarity, the town still expects him to maintain an ATV trail that passes through his land; with this in mind, Forester perfectly summed up the absurdity of the zoning board's disapproval of his site plan application.
“I can’t allow tourism on my property, but I am expected to keep this thing going and maintain it?” Forster said. “I want to invite people onto my property to enjoy it, like the town is already inviting people onto my property to enjoy it.”

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