Forced to Farm? California Lawsuit Raises Question

Straight out of the playbook of the Third World Banana Republic. I don’t know how it is now, but some years back, if you owned a farm in Honduras and did not farm it, they would take it away from you and give it to a horde of squatters.  That, quite logically, lead to absentee owners planting crops and then never tending to them–just so they could keep the land. — jtl, 419
via AgWeb


A new lawsuit in California is asking the question if county government can force producers to keep farming in order to keep your own land.

The Pacific Legal Foundation is stepping in to defend Willie Benedetti, owner of Benedetti Farms and Wille Bird Turkeys.

He wants to build a house on his land for his son, but Marin County’s new land use plan requires landowners who currently use their land for agricultural purposes to remain “actively and directly engaged” in agriculture in perpetuity.

For Benedetti, that would mean he must choose between working forever or retiring and giving up his property. He is suing the county and the California Coastal Commission for this unconstitutional condition on his right to use his property.

“We’re not talking about environmental issues—we’re talking about building a house, and then I have to stay in agriculture to see that it will get done,” said Benedetti.

Litigation is ongoing in the Marin County Superior Court.

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