Sunday, December 23, 2012

VA City Stops Christmas Trees for Cancer Giveaway

Christian Critzer, who is a tree farmer in Waynesboro, Virginia, was giving away Christmas trees in favor of donations for the Martha Jefferson Hospital Cancer Center Foundation in Charlottesville.  However, the city classified his good-deeds operation as a for-profit retail business and promptly shut him down for a zoning violation.
“This year has certainly been plagued with its fair share of Scrooges and Grinches disguised as government agents . . . It’s our hope that Waynesboro officials will focus on solving the many real and pressing problems plaguing their community rather than creating problems where there are none.”
-- John W. Whitehead, president of the Rutherford Institute, representing Christian Critzer
For other Christmas Grinch stories, read Christmas Music at School is a 'Form of Bullying' and also read Nativity Banned at Florida School by Obama Dept. of Education as well as Nativity Demolished by Obama Administration at Navy Base and also read 'Christmas' Trees Banned by North Carolina College

-- From "Waynesboro board: No tree charity within neighborhood" by Roger Gonzalez, The (Waynesboro) News Virginian 12/22/12

“He is breaking the law,” Councilor Frank Lucente said. “We have laws. You cannot run businesses in neighborhoods. When you start interpreting the law, where does it stop? It’s against the law to set up a business in a residential neighborhood ... You have to have laws to regulate things ... It’s against the law to do it. End of story.”

Critzer aimed to accumulate funds that would be used for custom wigs for those battling cancer. His wife is a breast cancer survivor, and he wanted to “demonstrate the spirit of Christmas,” while also providing trees to low-income families.

“The laws that they said I was breaking, I wasn’t,” Critzer said. “It’s as simple as that … I grew up in the neighborhood when it was farm and fields. Saying that my yard is any type of a business ... I was just running a charity, not a business. I think I’m getting picked on. It’s time sensitive, selling Christmas trees. This was my last weekend to sell. I didn’t meet my goal. I will meet it, someway. I will have a Christmas tree charity somewhere in town. I’m not going to stop doing this. It’s ridiculous. I hope that I can do it here. Nobody really has a problem with it.”

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Scrooge City ends Christmas tree fundraiser" posted at Augusta Free Press (Waynesboro, Va) 12/23/12

You can hold as many unregulated yard sales as you want in Waynesboro. Try to raise money for cancer patients by selling Christmas trees in a quasi-residential area, though, and the long arm of the zoning law will come down on you.

The city responded in Scrooge fashion. On Nov. 26, a zoning official issued a citation to Critzer for running a retail business in a residential area. Critzer responded by deciding to give away the trees for free while also accepting donations to be sent to the hospital foundation, but the city demanded an end to that activity as well.

The Charlottesville-based Rutherford Institute has come to Critzer’s defense, pointing out that Critzer’s tree giveaway cannot be considered a retail activity as the proceeds are intended for charity.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Grinch city shuts down Christmas tree handout" posted at World Net Daily 12/22/12

It was on Nov. 26 when a zoning official showed up on Critzer’s doorstep to tell him he couldn’t run a retail business in the home.

[Critzer] agreed to the [shut down] order to prevent the city from bringing a legal action against the owner of his rental home.

Rutherford says it’s contacting the city to try to get what it describes as an “erroneous” interpretation of the zoning code fixed.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.