The following is a response to the article When the Agricultural and Residential Worlds go to War. The first part of the article mainly focused on the residential plight, without providing the perspective of the Ag folks. The Mirror is disappointed in its reporting and wants to be sure that Mr. Tankard got equal time to give his part of the story.
In part 2, David Tankard, owner of David’s Nursery responds with the following comment:
I am disappointed that the Cape Charles Mirror did not request input from the other side of this issue.
1. The right of way is legal. I had my lawyer, John Custis, double-check it for me. Mr. Monroe has conceded in early conversations that he knew about the right of way but didn’t realize it would be used by tractors and other heavy equipment. The right of way has existed since 1987 and none of the previous owners of Mr. Monroe’s property have had any issue with it.
2. The right of way is a safety issue. We don’t like our tractors on the fairly busy Occohanock Neck Rd any longer than necessary.
3. The farm that I own that borders Mr. Monroe’s property is part of an AFD (Agricultural Forestry District). We are able to operate heavy equipment, irrigation pumps, etc at all hours on that farm.
4. Despite that almost all of the heavy equipment that uses the right of way is between the hours of 7:30 am and 5 pm. On rare occasions, we do need to use the right of way during other hours, but it is almost always during daylight.
5. If tractors and other heavy equipment did go on Occohanock Neck Rd, instead of the right of way, they would be about the same distance from Mr. Monroe’s house. There would be virtually no difference in the amount of noise.
6. When this started I did try to talk to Mr. Monroe. I was screamed and cursed at when I refused to give in on the use of the right of way. Mr. Monroe has since yelled at several of my employees. He has also screamed and cursed at me again when I was just riding by on my bike on the paved public road. Once he did even come on our property to yell at my employees. Despite all of this, David’s Nursery has told its employees to do their best to ignore Mr. Monroe. Whenever he is blocking the right of way by standing in the middle of the road, my tractors do take a long way around.
In an email, David provided additional commentary:
If the right of way wasn’t there then our tractors and other heavy equipment would ride by more houses in addition to Mr. Monroe’s house. From my viewpoint, the fact that he got the Cape Charles Mirror to publish an article concerning this matter is just the latest evidence of how Mr. Monroe is trying to intimidate David’s Nursery. He is doing everything possible to make life miserable for me and David’s Nursery in order to pressure us to stop using the legal right of way. David’s Nursery has instructed its employees to do everything possible to get along with Mr. Monroe and not to antagonize him in any way.
He has yelled at David’s Nursery employees using the right of way. Once he even came on our property to yell at employees.
He has screamed at me twice. The first time we met and I refused to give in on the right of way, he got right up nose to nose and screamed and cursed at me. The second time I parked my truck at the end of Mount Hope Lane (about 25 yards from his property) and went on a bike ride on the paved public road. He must have seen me departing because he was waiting for me when I came back and screamed at me again.
Recently a local farmer used the right of way to cut our soybeans since we don’t have our own combine. He followed that person to his shop and yelled at him. A combine on our field is something that only happens once or twice a year.
He has stood in the middle of the right of way to block traffic on a couple of occasions.
My primary points are as stated in previous comments.
The right of way is legal.
The right of way is needed for a safety issue. Both for my employees and for motorists on Occohanock Neck Rd.
Mr. Monroe’s house is right next to an AFD. He should not be surprised that agriculture is happening near him.
I really want people to like me personally and David’s Nursery. I want my neighbors to be my friends. I have had a lot of sleepless nights worrying about Mr. Monroe and it really upsets me to know how angry he is with me and David’s Nursery.