McHenry County Board Candidate Mike Walkup Comments on Overregulation of Agribusiness Climate

A press release from Distrcit 3 McHenry County Board candidate Michael Walkup:

Walkup Points to “Outdated and Overly Restrictive Regulations”

Mike Walkup

The potential business climate in McHenry County is being stifled by outdated and overly restrictive regulations of all kinds.

A case in point is the use of agricultural property.

Not everyone in McHenry County lives on 160 acres of land that can be farmed with corn and soybeans. Many people have varying size properties that are currently unused.

When some of those people want to try to put their land to productive use, and help preserve open space in the bargain, they are often stymied by the County.

For instance, an apple orchard cannot take it’s blemished apples and make and sell apple sauce.

Someone who raises popcorn can’t pop it for customers to have a taste unless he or she puts in a certified kitchen.

You cannot have more than one person working for you in a home occupation unless they are a member of your family.

If you raise free range chickens or turkeys, you can slaughter up to a 1000 of them yourself in the back yard with minimal regulation and sell them to people who come over if you have agricultural zoning.

However, if you sell just one chicken that you have raised yourself and have taken to a certified inspected state or federal processor, you are violating the law.

If you do try to do one of these things, you are told that can apply for a Conditional Use Permit.

This requires hiring an attorney, but that is the least of your costs.

The county will also make you pave your driveway, no matter how long it is, so you can have one handicapped parking space that can be marked.

Then you have to put in male and female handicapped accessible bathrooms, on their own septic system, plus maybe a sprinkler system in your barn.

This brings the cost of a jar of apple sauce up to around $100,000.

You can. however, sell honey from your bees that are also in jars with no problem.

Attempts to develop an “agritourism” ordinance that would allow for more leeway floundered in committee at the County Board when the County attempted to force registrations and require each business to apply for Conditional Use Permits after three years of operation.

This assumes that everyone who wants to sell an apple corer at their orchard intends to try to become “AgriDisneyland”.

We need more common sense at the County. That’s why I am running for County Board, District 3, on March 20th, in the Republican Primary. Please be sure to vote.

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