July 24, 2013 at 11:21 am
1. Two years ago, Fauquier was the 3rd largest winery county in Virginia, now it is 5th.
2. No wineries have opened since the ordinance passed. Before then 3 on average were opening a year.
3. Since passage, 3 wineries have sold and one more has closed. Another went through bankruptcy in the months leading up to the ordinance and another is in bankruptcy right now.
4. Two investments groups seeking each to invest $7 million minimum in Fauquier to start wineries decided not to specifically because of the ordinance.
5. The Attorney General has issued an opinion that several parts of the ordinance over-reached and are illegal.
6. Every one of our family farm wineries are locally owned and operated, providing over 200 paying jobs, $900,000 in local winery paid sales tax revenues, over 1000 acres of land being used for agricultural purposes, and over $150,000,000 in tourism revenues for our community.
7. In the 4 years before the ordinance was passed, not one formal letter of complaint was served to a winery by county officials.
8. The Sheriff reported one incident involving alcohol and a winery in the 36 months preceding the passage of the ordinance.
These are facts. Yet in the name of health, safety and welfare, we have some county supervisors who still insist that this is a fair and balanced ordinance that is good for our community. You decide.
I think it is unconstitutional. Prohibiting when they can operate business hours for just the wine industry is strange. Would you tell the barber when he can shave? No, that is not the purpose of government. Not even California has this control. France the biggest wine producer does not have this kind of control. Only BOS would come up with ordinance. The Fauquier wine industry could be a source of revenue, jobs, etc. Then why would Fauquier BS want to restrict this industry. The way this will be solved will be in the next election. Sic semper tyrannis! Sadly, our BOS is a bully and a clique.