Danvers resident Susan Prentiss went before the ZBA on Dec. 12, proposing to open a private farmers market from her garden center on 141 Pine St., which initially received opposition from local farmers.
Bill Clark of Clark Farm and Peter Gibney of Gibney Gardens said at the meeting, while they favor a farmers' market run by a community group or nonprofit on town property, the proposal sounds more like a farm stand or retail store, rather than a state-certified farmers' market, the Salem News reported.
According to the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources, a farmers' market can have 25 to 30 vendors, accommodate 1,500 customers, and provide coupons to the elderly and those in need of food assistance. The minimum qualifications in the farmers' market qualifications include having two or more farmers primarily selling local products.
"The Prentisses need to be aware there is more to it than simply calling it a farmers' market," Gibney said at the meeting.
According to the Salem News, Prentiss told the board she plans to close her garden center, but keep an existing landscaping business going, and proposed opening a farmers' market on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., with two vendors selling handmade items, fruits, vegetables and homemade breads.
The hearing will be continued, alongside requested opinion from town counsel, at the next Zoning Board of Appeals on Jan. 9 at 7 p.m.