Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Update: Support YOUR Farmers Markets

We encourage supporters of farmers markets to support the proposed Atlanta Farmers Market zoning ordinance this spring!


We support Amendment Z-10-30, the zoning code change that will define “farmers market” and expand the zoning rules to allow markets to happen in more places.

• Previously, the zoning code did not have a set of rules that made sense for farmers markets or their role in contributing to a healthy, safe community.

• How is this proposal different than the process currently in place?

Farmers Markets will be able to apply for a single SAP (special administrative permit) per year at a cost of $250 instead of reapplying at cost every 90 days.

It will also allow farmers markets to vend in zoning areas that had not been approved previously, such as schools and church/temple parking lots. The increased flexibility will allow farmers markets to address issues of food deserts and food insecure neighborhoods.

• It is estimated that the total cost to each market per year will be $250 SAP + $66 Fire Safety Permit = $316 annually. For markets larger than 200 people, an off-duty police officer will also be required. Currently, Peachtree Road Farmers Market is the only market of this size and, as such, will incur a total cost of $5,700 annually. There may be a chance to reduce the SAP fee if there is enough public support for reducing it.

What can I do to help now?:

1. Attend your Neighborhood Planning Unit (NPU) meetings and voice your support. If you aren’t sure what NPU to which you belong or when they meet, please visit:
At the bottom of the map is a link to the meeting locations and agendas.

2. Send an email. Questions, comments or ideas on how to improve the legislation? Have your voice heard! Email to share your thoughts during this process.

3. Get informed. For more information about the new zoning code including a copy of the proposal visit:

What Happens Next?:

NPUs will vote throughout January. The proposed ordinance then goes to the Zoning Review Board in March, and finally to the full City Council this spring. We hope to have your support every step of the way and will keep you updated on when future meetings will be. Please see our current list of NPU meetings here. We hope to have a large showing of support at the Zoning Review Board meeting, which will be in March – the exact time & date is TBA.

Thank you so much for your support of your local food community!

Lauren Carey
Market Manager

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