The person who recently sent a complaint to the City about our farm stand lives in.... Eldorado!
That's exactly 18.4 mi from the farm!
Her name is Dr. Deborah Watkin, she's the anonymous (not anymore!) blogger Deborah who left the following comment on our website:
"Gee, I wanna drive my BMW 100 miles an hour, darn I can't well maybe I'll just do it anyway and in the meanwhile see if I can schmooz the police to let me whizz by.... ever think regulatory mechanisms empower people to excell. Your business model would be perfect for a third world country, busloads of school kids, no nagging neighbors, no regulations on inspections to ensure your produce is safe... Thailand perhaps, I saw a cheap one way ticket, the donators would get over it... bye bye bozo." See her comments here
She is most likely an acquaintance of our immediate neighbor who's regularly been using proxies to wage her war on the farm and our water rights since 2013.
Dct. Watkin called the City numerous times, including the City Attorney's office, and threatened litigation against the City if the farm wasn't shut down.
1) We are operating the farm without a business license
True. We applied for one in 2013 but it was denied on the grounds that there were building violations on the property (having nothing to do with the farm). The City has let us operate the farm since then.
2) We are illegally using domestic water from a well
False. On Jan. 16, 2014 the Office of the State Engineer granted us 1.05 acre-feet of irrigation water rights. The transfer of these water rights is currently being protested by the same neighbor who has tortured us to death for the past 3 years! While the Office of the State Engineer is conducting formal hearings on the protest, the use of water for irrigation from our domestic well is legal.
3) We are squatting on a property that's in foreclosure
False. The farm leases one acre of the property for its operation. We have worked with multiple lawyers over the last few years to see what the farm could do regarding the foreclosure, but as a tenant, we have been limited by the property owner’s actions and desires because he’s the party responsible for the foreclosure. Last year, we formed a community land trust and raised money to attempt to buy the property out of foreclosure, way more than a tenant would normally do.
4) We are building structures without proper permits
False. The only structure that was built (hoop houses do not require permits) is the garden structure that we had permitted in 2013 and later used for our short-lived farm stand! A previous shed structure built by another tenant without proper permits was torn down in 2013 upon request by the City.
We are in a position of financial and social power, and we could be agents of change in our society. Without pretension, I believe we could be a nice little gardener who takes care of the garden, and hopefully our neighbor will do the same. Then, maybe we'll achieve a better world - Guy Laliberte