Updated: Fridley Farmers Markets Wouldn't Include Front Yard Stands

Proposed ordinance change would still prohibit most marketing of food products in residential areas.

Update (June 11, 2012): City of Fridley staff clarified in a June 7 memo that under a proposed zoning code change to allow and permit farmers markets, without a permit. The city would get involved only if the produce stand created a traffic or parking problem or otherwise created a nuisance, according to the memo.

Original post (May 20, 2012): Farmers markets could pop up almost anywhere in Fridley under a proposed ordinance change that gets its first reading at Monday's city council meeting.

The exception: most properties in residential area couldn't host markets. Farmers markets would be allowed at properties under every other type of zoning, from commercial to heavy industrial.

The sale of garden products in residential areas "could cause disruption and alter the characteristics of the residential neighborhoods, by bringing increased traffic, congestion and parking problems," according to the city attorney. So the proposed ordinance change would only allow farmers markets if the residentially zoned property holds an institution, such as a church, school or clinic. 

In the full agenda for Monday's meeting (see PDF), the city attorney said that the city can use its police powers to enforce zoning ordinances restricting the sale of homegrown produce—despite language in the  Minnesota Constitution (Article XIII, Section 7) stating: “Any person may sell or peddle the products of the farm or garden occupied and cultivated by him without obtaining a license therefor.”

The Fridley City Council meets Monday at 7:30 p.m. at . The second reading of the proposed farmers market ordinance changes is set for June 11, 2012.

WOLFMAN May 24, 2012 at 12:44 PM
But the state Article DOES ALLOW this type of sales activity in residential areas too. How can the city council override language presented in a state Article permitting these sales?
Chris Steller May 24, 2012 at 02:24 PM
What you say is true, Wolfman. I suppose if someone was really interested they could take that case to court. But the city attorney seems to think the city would be on firm legal ground restricting front yard farmers markets.
WOLFMAN May 25, 2012 at 02:40 PM
Sounds to me like the city is trying to override the state's 'Article'. As a suggestion, the city attorney may want to re-read the Article and may want to reconsider his position. This could conceivably end up in court as a 'Rights' issue.
DOLLY MCPHILLIPS June 11, 2012 at 01:37 PM
i think the city ought to stick wiith government issues and leave the private sector alone, we all like to make a few extra bucks and some of the older folks who love to grow things and sell for a few pennies are not able to trek to some big city location . they love to grow & sell while then sitting in their own yard to enjoy the fruits of their labor. arent their bigger issues you folks in the govt should be attending to? honestly, get your foot in my door any further and i will have to cut it off to shut the door.
Chris Steller June 11, 2012 at 07:13 PM
Dolly, I should add an update line to this post because the latest is that city staff says that front yard or driveway produce stands wouldn't need permits or attract any city attention unless they create a traffic jam or disturbance.


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