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Rappahannock farmer Mike Massie said he saw a "Farmers for Trump" sign somewhere and "liked it, so I emulated it."

The Board of Zoning Appeals met tonight (Wednesday) for a brief but lively regular meeting, which included Vice Chairman Ron Makela moving at the top of the hour to add a conversation about the prominent “Farmers for Trump” hay bales sign at Massies Corner to the agenda. 

Hampton representative Bill Tieckelmann seconded the motion. 

“I think it’s a little premature,” said Wakefield representative Steph Ridder. “It will be hard to do that without a specific [appeal from the public].” 

Ridder amended the motion to limit the BZA’s discussion to “whether or not it is the correct time to discuss specifics.”

“I’m not necessarily talking about enforcement,” Makela said. “I’m talking about taking an honest look at the situation. … There was an article in the [Washington] Post and in The Lily in Washington, D.C. about this sign and in that article it was stated that the local zoning people were doing nothing about it even though it was … in violation of the sign ordinance.”   

Though Tieckelmann and Ridder said they had both received complaints about the sign at Massies Corner and forwarded them to Zoning Administrator Michelle Somers, a determination has yet to be presented to the board.

“I think we don’t make any statement at all,” said BZA Chairman Alex Sharp. 

“Then what’s the point of the sign ordinance?” Makela responded.

There were a mere three items of note on tonight’s agenda: the matter of finding a new secretary after David Konick’s departure from the BZA (which was not resolved); a special use permit application by Mr. Neighbors of Amissville to occasionally rent out his cottage to tourists on the weekends (which was approved); and, as a late addition, the discussion “about whether or not to have a discussion about the hay bales.” 

After a vigorous debate that lasted twenty minutes, the board agreed that it was too early to have a substantive discussion about the hay bales sign and abruptly adjourned the meeting. 


Watch the meeting: