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Virginia Property Rights Push TODAY

Virginia Statehouse
Virginia Delegate Bob Marshall’s property rights bill, House Bill 1219, will be considered by the Committee for Courts of Justice’s Constitutional Law subcommittee TODAY. 

The bill aims to amend the Code of Virginia to reign in the powers of local government officials who try to harass property owners with onerous fines. 

Marshall introduced his bill in direct response to incidents precipitated by county officials who threatened Virginia citizen farmer Martha Boneta. Boneta gained national attention after she was cited and threatened with $5,000 per-day fines for hosting such 'menacing activities' as a birthday party for eight 10-year old girls without a permit and advertising pumpkin carvings. Virginians rallied at two "pitchfork protests" in support of Boneta.

"Local officials who abuse zoning authority powers to cower citizens into submission and deprive land owners of Constitutional rights in the enjoyment of their land must be subject to fines and actual damages they cause including attorney fees," Delegate Bob Marshall noted in support of his HB 1219 recently introduced in the Virginia General Assembly.

Marshall said, "I am convinced this harassment will continue until local officials realize they can be held liable in the form of fines and other costs." H.B. 1219 provides that local governments violating constitutional rights through zoning shall pay their victims (1) the amount of the fines they sought to impose, and (2) actual damages including attorney fees. Local government officials who intentionally violate this law would also be liable.

Following is the contact information for House members on the Constitutional Law Subcommittee. All Subcommittee members, even the two Democrats, need to be made aware of the growing support of this property rights legislation from citizens like you. Please CALL THEM NOW!

If you are a Virginian (native or adopted) it is important that you urge your legislator AND the members of the House Constitutional Law Subcommittee to support HB 1219. Please forward this article to your friends and contacts in Virginia; protecting property rights in Virginia helps spread the message to other states and localities where property rights are threatened.

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