And I thought the drama surrounding farmers markets in my part of Chester County was enough.
Now there is more farmers market drama. But what did I suspect? Or expect if it involves West Vincent Township? Shall we just call it Miller’s Market to go with the Miller Towers in Miller Township and be done with it? Why in addition do the names Ann Marie Butera Cantrell and Sam Cantrell of Maysie’s Farm keep cropping up? Are they the movers and the shakers who are behind the move to West Vincent from Anselma Mill? Is the Anselma Mill Market really moving from Anselma Mill to West Vincent or is the Anselma Market closing and another market opening in West Vincent? Are you able to track this because I am sure having a hard time….
So the drama with this market started when fans of the Anselma Mill’s Farmers’ and Artisans’ Market page on Facebook started seeing posts about that market closing and becoming the West Vincent Farmers Market.
It has been a veritable who’s on first scenario. What is it about West Vincent that they can even (apparently) screw up a farmers market? I love farmers markets and they are an awesome addition to communities but you have to do things properly.
And what is the craziest thing of all with this farmers market? How about that the land proposed to be used might actually be in Upper Uwchlan Township? So if so, has there been a meeting there?
Who is sponsoring this market? Is it a local municipality? Is it a non-profit farmers’ cooperative, and if so are they registered as a non-profit? Or is it a for profit business model, and if so who is it and will they be paying the right taxes and fees, etc? Who will be responsible to the citizens of West Vincent (or Upper Uwchlan) in cleaning up the market? It is a little hinky on parking, so where will people park?
And who the heck ANNOUNCES a market as in signs, Facebook pages and so on and so forth that has not formerly been approved? I mean what kind of amateur hour romper room antics is this? That just makes people resent something that should equal a pleasant experience, and of course that lends itself to asking again who exactly is doing this market? And if it is a producers market that means all farmers have to grow what they sell right?
Seems to me there are a lot of questions and that this is something yet again that West Vincent is doing in a slap dash backroom deal kind of way, doesn’t it? Is there actual permission in tangible form from Upper Uwhclan? And why was the legal notice SO LAST MINUTE? Does the legal notice mean there is not quite the proper zoning for such an enterprise and if so who announces a farmers market with signs and Facebook pages if they don’t have the zoning in place?
What a shame is what I say. Farmers Markets are awesome for local economies…but when you don’t do things the right way, can it be said everyone suffers?
Farmers Market drama is so unnecessary. Sigh…Bravo could add a new series to their reality TV roster: “The Real Farmers Markets of Chester County“….
Here is what Chickenman has to say:
West Vincent Township has been actively working to bring a Farmer’s Market to the township’s Andrew Evans Park. Local farmer Sam Cantrell came to a township meeting on March 11, 2013 to request the use of the Township property.
This was done under new business, not public comment on non-agenda items but not published on the agenda:
It was further discussed under Public Comment on April 8, 2013:
There was a question pertaining to the park property being eased against commercial activity and Clare Quinn stated that there is no easement. It was supposed to be eased as part of the DONATION to the Township, but it was never done. While Clare Quinn answered truthfully, the Township did indeed adopt a resolution AGAINST commercial activity on the property that stands today.
The township eventually elected against using most of the park, but there is just over 2 acres next to Rte 401 that the township purchased from Newt Evans and is allegedly not part of the resolution. The part of the park is actually located in UPPER UWCHLAN TOWNSHIP. There are some improvements that need to be made. In the last couple weeks, a pipe was installed in order to cross a drainage swale. Surveyors have been hustling around the location in the last week. I see signs have been popping up.
This operation has NOT YET BEEN APPROVED. Who is paying for these improvements? You are. Sustainability is a buzzword in West Vincent Township. Does Sustainability mean that the taxpayer need to underwrite the expenses of the local farmers?
Wait! It will be more than Farmers. It may be crafters, also. Here is the Farmer’s Market Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/WestVincentFarmersMarket this operation is required to be approved by the township of Upper Uwchlan and according to the video, a permit was issued (according to Ken Miller), against the zoning of Upper Uwchlan Township. Is Upper Uwchlan is starting to become like West Vincent by ignoring their laws? Did they really issue a permit? Here is the pertinent section of the West Vincent Township meeting about the Farmer’s Market:
Pt 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VRByEhLGzVU&feature=youtu.be
Pt 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lD5nx8BAWZM&feature=youtu.be
I urge everyone to watch these videos. In Part 1, resident Frances Ellis points out that the use does not meet the criteria set forth in Upper Uwchlan zoning. In Part 2, Ken Miller is anxious to vote on this issue. The issue is discussed as if it has already been approved. Ken Miller becomes very upset when counsel advises against voting on the Farmer’s Market. It sure seems like this is a done deal, in the face of questioning that this clearly does not meet Upper Uwchlan Zoning.
What is the rush? Ken Miller needs a new outlet for his goods? This is his chance to move into a Farmer’s Market at no or little cost, at least to him. There will be plenty of cost to the township taxpayer as this moves forward. I am not against a Farmer’s Market, I think they are great. But it has to be a legal operation. Pearl’s Farm Market was shut down years ago because it’s location on Rte. 100 at Horseshoe Trail did not meet zoning.
Additionally, why does the government (the taxpayer) have to finance someone else’s business? Rent the property, cover the expenses for ALL the improvements and costs. I have not seen any township video discussing how the township expenses are going to be covered. Better yet, do it on private property, where the rental income can be taxed, which supports the government operations.
There is a special township meeting currently advertised for Monday night, June 3 at 8:00 pm, (see attached), to vote on the Farmer’s Market. If you want to find out what the meeting is about, or just wish to be aware of what’s happening, you should attend. But I bet I know how it will turn out.
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