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APA launches appeal against Lewis Farm

So far, the legal battle has cost the Lewises six figures worth of legal fees.

Lewis said that if the appellate court rules in favor of the APA, he and his wife may simply close the farm.

"Farmers don't have time for permitting," said Lewis. "The APA is a zoning board, not a farming board."

Meyer's Nov. 19 decision annulled action taken by the APA against the farm, including a $50,000 civil penalty for failing to obtain APA permits for three modular homes Lewis built to house his farmworkers.

"The workers' homes are critical to the success of the farm, particularly as it attempts to expand to include retail produce sales, to serve the community," said Lewis. "You can't get top people unless they live here."

"The APA only understands subdivision. They want something to regulate," added Lewis. "If the APA gets to regulate farms, there will be no farms; period."

At the time of this reporting, representatives of the APA and the Attorney General's office had yet to respond for comment.

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