Multiple Farmer’s Markets delay code amendments

By Kimberly Porter….
Zoning changes to permit a South Miami Farmer’s Market will once again come before the city Planning Board March 8 after two discussions have yet to resolve how to legally permit such operations within the city.

The two key issues: (1) whether multiple markets be allowed to operate within city zoning districts and (2) if any type of fee should be charged.

The Board deferred formal action at both February 8 and 22 meetings after discussing amendment changes to establish a farmer’s market as a permitted special use in Land Development Code.

Amending Section 20-3.3, “Permitted Use Schedule,” would allow farmer’s markets as a special use in certain zoning districts, allowing for multiple markets within the city; Section 20-3.4, “Special Use Conditions,” details conditions for compliance.

“I think we should confine (the amendment) to one farmer’s market,” commented Sharon McCain, a resident. “We have a lot of pocket parks in the city that are surrounded by residential areas where farmers markets would not be compatible to the neighborhood.”

She urged that parks and recreation be taken off the list of districts where a farmer’s market would be permissible in the future.

“The market is a service and I’m not sure about this structure,” said Dr. Gray Reed, speaking against fees the current market would face if it became a special use.

“This $3,000 fee for special use — I don’t know of any farmer’s market that makes that sort of money,” she stated…

“At least where the market is now should be listed as a permitted use,” said Sandy Youkilis, referring to the current farmer’s market held at City Hall, currently not legally-permitted.

Advised City Attorney: “I strongly recommend there has to be substantial competent evidence that if a second one (market) comes along, it (the amendment) can be upheld,” said City Attorney Laurence Feingold.

Rather than have the existing market become a special use, complete with fees, Brenda Yates said, “I would appreciate if it can be looked into as a special event.”

David Morton moved to table the issue until the next planning board meeting, passed by a 6-1margin.

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