Proposed Changes Could Relax the Farmers Market Permit Process

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A possible change in policy could make it easier to establish farmers markets in Albemarle County.

Alisa Wildman, of Sunny Point Farm, said, "Two years ago we tried to get the market started, and it was a little more difficult."

Wildman has been setting up shop at the Albemarle farmers market every Saturday for the last two years. 

"It was a little more difficult," Wildman said. "The rules were a little more harder to adhere to."

Now Albemarle County hopes to change that.

Bill Fritz works in community development for Albemarle County. Fritz says the resolution is waiting on approval from the Albemarle Board of Supervisors. 

Fritz said, "Right now, if you want to have a farmers market, you have to get a special use permit which is a fairly lengthy process."

The Board of Supervisors has passed a letter of intent, meaning they plan to devote time to the project.

Fritz said, "It makes it easier for them they can come in, they can get a clearance, and they can operate the farmers market on a piece of property."

William and Rebecca Lunsford have been selling goods in the county for two years and say this could mean a lot more than where they can set up shop.

William Lunsford said, "It allows consumer to come here and get their products and know exactly where their products came from."

The proposed amendment would allow farm stands to be open one to two days a week on properties with already established site plans like churches or schools.

The county says it aim to make the process easier for farmers.