Proposed zoning amendment could allow farmers' market at Sportsplex
The owners of The Stand juice bar and vegan cafe, located at Sportsplex@Fairfield off Mill Plain Road, would like to bring a farmers' market to the site.
A proposed zoning amendment to allow that project has been filed by 85 Pond Mill LLC, the property owner, with the Town Plan and Zoning Commission.
The amendment, aired at public hearing last week, would designate farmer's markets as a permitted use in designed industrial districts. Under the proposal, farmers' markets would qualify if they are seasonal, open for limited hours and run by an existing food-related business located within 100 feet of the market's site.
The TPZ took no vote taken on the amendment, and there was no public opposition voiced at the hearing.
Attorney John Eckman said The Stand's owners would use part of the parking area across from Local Kitchen, during hours that the restaurant is not busy.
"It wouldn't be an all-day, everyday affair," Eckman said, adding that details for a market would be included when an application is submitted, if the amendment is approved. He said Tuesdays are being considered for the market.
"Where are they going to park?" asked Commissioner Anthony Calabrese, who works at the town's Recreation Department headquarters on Mill Plain Road, which sits at the entrance to the complex. "Nobody slows down there ... It's going to take somebody getting hit by a car. Having more pedestrian traffic in there concerns me."
Commissioner Jim Kennelly suggested that perhaps the farmers' market could hire a security guard or off-duty police officer to help with traffic.
"I think they would entertain that, certainly," Eckman said.
Commissioner Seth Baratz asked Eckman if he knew if there are other designed industrial districts in town where, if the amendment were to be approved, a farmers' market could open.
Eckman said he believes there might be a parcel on Commerce Drive.
"This would limit the ability to have farmers' market only where there is a food-related business within 100 feet," TPZ Chairman Matthew Wagner pointed out.