Virginia Farmer’s Property Rights Dispute With Green Group Hits Another Snag


Virginia farmer Martha Boneta thought her long-running dispute with a local green group was coming to an end. But now, that light at the end of the tunnel has gone dark again.

Efforts to reach a settlement with a local green group, the Piedmont Environmental Council, are on hold. The PEC currently oversees enforcement duties of a conservation easement on Boneta’s property. Under the settlement, the Virginia Outdoors Foundation would have assumed those duties. However, the foundation found serious flaws with the agreement.

Now, the foundation wants Boneta and the PEC to agree on a “corrective amendment” to address the concerns.

With little progress being made on that front, the foundation informed attorneys for both sides it would not take up the matter of assuming enforcement duties at its next meeting.

“It appears, from communications made during the first weeks of December 2014, that we have not been able to reach a solution that is amenable to all parties,” Kerry Brian Hutcherson, the foundation’s staff counsel, wrote to PEC attorney Turner Broughton and William Hurd, the former Virginia solicitor general who represents Boneta.

Accordingly, the VOF staff does not anticipate that the VOF board will take formal action regarding the …read more