Family farm sued for breaking ordinance law

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TOWN OF BARTON (WITI) -- It's a hassle at harvest time. A farming family admits it did not obey a town ordinance, but says it did what it did to keep its business running.

The raspberries are ripe on the Fideler Farm.

"It's a very popular destination around the area," said Jason Fideler, of the Fideler Farm.

But the Fideler family has a bad taste in their mouth because the temporary, sun-blocking structures they would put in place in this pick-your-own strawberry field, were being destroyed by weather.

Jason Fideler says a permanent structure was not permitted due to zone restrictions, on which the Town of Barton would not budge.

"It was basically no way, ah-ah, never gonna happen," said Fideler.

Regardless of the rule, the family proceeded to put up a roof this past summer.

"We know that we weren't going to get that permit. It's kind of one of those things where necessity took over to keep our business running where we needed it to be," said Fideler.

Based on legal documents, the Fidelers thought they could make an appeal for a variance to the appropriate ordinance.

When the town told the Fidelers they could not, and would have to take the structure down by August 22nd, or be fined $200 a day, the Fidelers took to facebook -- where you can see they have some support.

"We're being sued by the Town of Barton to remove this structure, and if we don't, they will hire somebody to come in to raze all the buildings," said Fideler.

Thursday afternoon, FOX6 News spoke with the chairman of the Town of Barton, saying that the farming activities including the growing and harvesting are legal, and that the Town of Barton never had any issues with that. As for the structure, he says that is part of litigation, and it cannot be discussed.

1 Comment

  • wendy

    Growing and harvesting are OK but what about u pick berries? Can ‘t sell there. People can’t pick their own, paperwork says no signs posted, no well, and no buildings. The family can’t pick 2 acres of berries themselves. Were told we can’t hire anyone either. Why grow berries if we can’t sell them?

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