FORT MILL — A new farmers market in Fort Mill is likely just a few weeks away from opening.
The Fort Mill Town Council this month changed a zoning ordinance dealing with how permits are issued for special events and temporary uses. That change was needed when the Fort Mill Economic Council asked the town about setting up a weekly farmers market downtown.
Downtown, or in areas zoned like it, a farmers market permit must be renewed annually and a market can’t take place more than once a week.
Produce, meat, dairy products, baked goods and plants are allowed. Up to 20 percent of available vendor space can be used for handmade arts and crafts items, given they’re being sold by the artisan. Reselling and consignment aren’t allowed.
The amendment to allow such a market also includes several “housekeeping” changes, according to the staff report provide to the council. A new set of recommended standards will be used to evaluate temporary use permits, which now will be issued by the town zoning administrator rather than a building official.
Louis Roman, an Economic Council board member, hopes to sign a lease soon, with the market set to open either the first or second Saturday in June in the First Baptist Church parking lot just off Main Street.
“We covered quite a bit of ground in a short amount of time,” Roman said.
The seasonal venue will be open 8 a.m.-1 p.m. each Saturday. Roman expects a “true, old-time farmers market” where whatever is in season is available. Vendors will agree to spot checks during which market organizers can stop by farms to see what’s being grown and where.
“It will be all local,” said Economic Council board member Janice May. “If it can’t be grown in the area or produced in the area, we’re not going to sell it.”