Letters to the Editor

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FARMING: Policies make it harder on farmers

Letter by Pete Van Lierop, Olympia on March 6, 2013 at 9:17 am with No Comments »
March 6, 2013 10:17 am

Thank you for all the interesting articles on my brother’s daffodil farm (TNT, 2-28). You asked for opinions, so here is a fresh view from another farmer (retired).

First of all, the farmer is the next extinct breed. In planning, we have asked for the last 50 years to save the farmer. Not the land; the farmer will take care of that. We need to preserve the farmer.

My brother’s farm has enough cold storage, dry storage, parking and beautiful retail sales shop that have served the 100 acres, plus greenhouses. The part we play as planners is we limit the farmer’s ability to stay alive.

For example, a piece of property can be sold to a developer so he can do what we don’t let the farmer do. The developer gets to use buzz words like special use permits, variance and things like that. In the off season, Neil’s place should have been able to be a fruit and vegetable farmers market.

On planning we need to work with this dying breed, the farmer.

(Van Lierop is a retired farmer and planner.)

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