There is a saying that you can’t go back home again. But what if you never left home? What if “home” consisted of a large family compound that has been handed down over the centuries, where several generations still live, gather to celebrate holidays and family special days and events, support each other and play together? It is an enviable way of life that is fast disappearing in the name of progress.
We will be visiting just such a place today. A family community in Southern Virginia called Hoehns Lake View Farms that has been owned by the same family for centuries, preserved and lovingly tended by those who live there now and by their ancestors before them. But not all is well in this idyllic corner of Virginia. While encroachment and property ownership disputes may well be a civil matter more properly enforced by the judicial system, local governments have a duty and a responsibility to uphold the laws and protect the citizens. When the local zoning department ignores letters of notification that the construction project they have been asked to approve includes property that is not owned by the developer and the police department refuses to protect citizens from trespass even when the property has been properly posted and the lawful owners have done everything to comply with the letter of the law. These responsibilities fall squarely in the purview of local governments.
And when citizens call the police to file a complaint about harassment, vandalism, cruelty to animals, killing family pets, bullying and endangerment to people, the appropriate response is to dispatch an officer or two to protect the innocent. But maybe the police are too busy arresting homeowners to prevent them from attending HOA meetings to show up when people are in real danger.
Joining us On The Commons this week is Sylvia Wright. Sylvia is a descendent of the Hoehns family. She grew up on the family farm, is actively protecting the land she inherited and loves and is happy that her children and grandchildren are also living on the land and growing up the way she and her ancestors did. But life is not as peaceful as it was when she was young. Please join us as we learn how life has changed in her peaceful, quiet, beautiful part of an otherwise crazy world.