Sen. Bruce Starr fights $2,000 fee on local farm stands

Bruce Starr

Salem, OR — Senator Bruce Starr (R-Hillsboro) has drafted legislation to protect farm stands from a looming $2,000 fee. According to the Oregonian, Washington County farmers will likely be forced to pay the exorbitant fee as part of a proposed land-use permitting process.

“Farm stands are symbolic of Washington County’s agricultural roots, and the vital part these local, small, community based businesses play in our economy,” said Starr. “No farmer should have to pay anywhere from $500 to $2,000 in order to sell their produce their property. It defies common sense.”

Currently, farm stands in Washington County only need a building permit to operate. But because of a recent ruling by the Land Use Appeals Board, farmers must now navigate the complicated and costly land-use process in order to set up a stand.

“Why should a farmer be forced to wade through bureaucracy and red tape, just to sell berries or vegetables from their farm?” said Starr.

The 2013 legislative session is in its closing days, but Starr plans on working hard to usher a fix for Washington County farmers through the House and Senate chambers before adjournment. Starr has drafted an amendment to House Bill 2200 that would address the problem, and is working with his colleagues to pass the bill.

Please click here to read the Oregonian Editorial Board’s support of Sen. Starr’s amendment