Friday, September 13, 2013

City Keeps Farmers' Market Shut Down on Technicalities

Heather Callaghan
Natural Blaze

In June, we reported on a David and Goliath fight between a longstanding farmers' market in Mount Jackson, Virginia and the city. It was a nonsensical decision on the city council's part to require the market operators to cough up $15-20,000 to pave a lot that had been used successfully on gravel for years. For the sake of "aesthetics." (Note: city councils are hurting their own economies for the sake of cookie-cutter appearances) It was literally 'Pave or Get Out.'
The market only wanted an extension, not exemption (although other businesses are getting exemptions left and right). Unlike businesses that operate all year round, they needed to at least open their doors to have funds available for the newly required lot. They have essentially operated as a service to the historic town, not as a profitable business.

So the market sued, not for monetary means, but as an injunction to stop the shut down and allow for time to repave. A catch-22 like this for the market could mean permanent shut down. The filing did require damages for the loss in operation funds, not by their own doing.