Huntsville changes zoning, definition of farmers markets

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - Huntsville city leaders want to eliminate confusion when it comes to farmers markets.

At Thursday's city council meeting, council members amended zoning and the definition of a farmers market.
City leaders say over the past three or four years, farmers markets have popped up all over the city and now they want to make it clear what a farmers market exactly is and where one can be.
The definition of a farmers market is an outdoor market or in an unenclosed shelter with retail sales of homemade or homegrown products, including produce, meat and other agricultural products.
A farmers market does not include the sale of mass produced items, used clothing and appliances.

This is the official definition of a farmers market, according to the city:

– A market conducted outdoors or in an unenclosed shelter where retail sales and demonstration of home-grown products, including produce, ornamental crops, meat, eggs and other agricultural products; homemade value added products,including baked goods, jams and jellies, pickles and relish, ried fruits, syrups and honey; and handmade arts, crafts, and unique local goods are conducted by the vendor engaged in the production of such products. The term does not include the sale r demonstration of mass produced items, used clothing, appliances, and other similar products.

Farmers markets are permitted downtown in commercial recreation districts like Ditto Landing and John Hunt Park as well as medical and airport commercial districts.

Mayor Tommy Battle says this amendment makes it easier and clearer for people to have farmers markets.

"I think just about every day of the week you can go to a farmers market in Huntsville and it's in different sections of the town all over the city. This is one that we have been working on for some time to try to make sure that we make it as easy as possible for them to do it."

If you want to have a farmers market in a residential or neighborhood business district you'll have to go to the board of zoning adjustment and get a special exception.

It's usually easy to get that special exception. You'll just have to provide the board with hours and days of operation and any other information they may request.

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