By John Schaffner

The city of Atlanta has developed a zoning ordinance to regulate the operation of farmers markets within the city. The ordinance was created through a cooperative effort of the city’s director of sustainability and some market managers.

Peachtree Road Farmers Market manager Lauren Carey, who participated in a year-long process of drafting the ordinance, told Neighborhood Planning Unit B board members Jan. 4 she supports the ordinance, which for the first time defines farmers markets and sets standards for their operation.

The Peachtree Road Farmers Market, which operates almost nine months out the year in the parking lot of the Cathedral of St. Philip in the 2700 block of Peachtree Road, is one of the largest and most successful of those operated in the city. It is located in NPU-B and is the only “farmers market” physically located in Buckhead. Carey appeared before NPU-B with Mandy Mahoney, director of sustainability for the city of Atlanta, who was in charge of developing the ordinance.

The ordinance defines a farmers’ market as an outdoor market open to the public selling farm products or value-added farm products.  It also defines key terms such as producer, farm products and value-added farm products.

The city’s neighbhorhood planning units have been asked to take a look at the measure, which also requires that farmers sell their own produce and products  or notify customers—in 2-inch-tall type—if the produce being sold came from another source.

The NPU-B board will officially vote at its February meeting on whether or not it supports the new ordinance.  The ordinance was also on the Jan. 4 agendas for NPU-C and NPU-A in Buckhead, but neither took any action on it that night.

Joe Earle

Joe Earle is Editor-at-Large. He has more than 30-years of experience with daily newspapers, including the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.