SAVE the Coventry Regional Farmers' Market
  • Petitioned State of Connecticut

This petition was delivered to:

State of Connecticut

SAVE the Coventry Regional Farmers' Market

    1. Emily Brooks
    2. Petition by

      Emily Brooks

WHO

The Coventry Regional Farmers' Market has been cited as Connecticut’s BEST farmers’ market by Yankee Magazine, Boston Magazine and American Farmland Trust!  New England Travel Magazine calls ours “Connecticut’s preeminent farmers’ market.” June through October, it’s the largest and most diverse farmers’ market in Connecticut.

The Coventry Regional Farmers Market is the largest hub of local commerce in the entire state of Connecticut drawing in over 65,000 visitors each season and infusing a minimum of $20,000 of local monies directly into local food and agriculture businesses each week.

According to a Hartford Courant article: Coventry Regional Farmers Market Still Faces Obstacles red tape with Planning & Zoning and with the State Traffic Commission are hindering the markets move from the Nathan Hale Homestead to a new location.  This ridiculous political posturing is damaging the farmers' market despite thousands showing their support for the Coventry Regional Farmers' Market.

WHAT IS THE PROBLEM?

The issue is TIMING and COST.  

The Coventry Regional Farmers' Market was the lucky recipient of the American Farmland Trust's GREAT BARN GIVE AWAY and was awarded an open air post-and-beam barn worth $80,000!  

Sounds great, right? 

Although Connecticut Landmarks, operators of the Nathan Hale Homestead, had given permission and encouragement for the market to enter the contest, after the win of this well-deserved award, Connecticut Landmarks sought to charge the farmers' market an annual rental fee for the barn.  This and other proposed lease terms were well beyond what the farmers' market could afford, making it impossible to continue at Hale.

A supporter offered a spectacular piece of land for a new market location, but because plans drawn for the Planning & Zoning process include more than 200 parking spaces, the State of Connecticut State Traffic Commission will need to determine the impact of the market's relocation on highway traffic. This requires a $25,000 traffic study and an expected 6 months processing time before a permit for use can be obtained. 

Both the timing and the costs of these setbacks is hindering the planning and implementation of the 2012 farmers’ market season.  Winter Caplanson, executive director of the nonprofit that manages the Coventry Regional Farmers’ Market said, “Caplanson said vendor applications for farmers would typically have been sent out already and would be due back in February. The market's committee would have already planned the summer's events and partnered with other organizations. None of that has been worked on yet for 2012.”

George Krivda, the legislative program manager at the Connecticut State Department of Agriculture, said the market is highly valued by his department.  "It would be a horrible shame, unfathomable to the department that the Coventry Farmers Market would cease to exist," he said.

How can you help?  SIGNING THIS PETITION:

·   Adds your voice of support for the Coventry Regional Farmers Markets and the farmers, producers, and artisans that depend on this regional food hub for their incomes,

·     Formally requests that all necessary permits, zoning approvals, traffic studies, and other safety precautions are expedited as quickly and as fairly as possible to ensure that planning for the 2012 Farmers Market season can proceed,

·     Speaks on your behalf to let the State of Connecticut know how very valuable the Coventry Regional Farmers Market is to you and to our local food and agriculture movements.

 

To send additional letters of support, email:  marketmasters@CoventryFarmersMarket.com

 

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Reached 1,780 signatures
    2. THANK YOU for Saving the Coventry Regional Farmers' Market!!!! We WON!!

      Emily Brooks
      Petition Organizer

      To the THOUSANDS who showed support for The Coventry Regional Farmers’ Market, we have an exciting update! The farm market has a SAFE AND LASTING HOME! The market has a new, ten-year arrangement that keeps the farmers’ market at the Hale Homestead!

      The Coventry Regional Farmers’ Market stays at the Hale Homestead!
      “This is excellent news for the residents of Coventry and the farmers market,” said state Agriculture Commissioner Steven K. Reviczky. “I commend the Town of Coventry and the farmer’s market for their work to ensure this great Connecticut tradition was not lost. Connecticut has a rich agricultural history, one that we want to encourage and expand.”

      Of the state’s 125 farmers’ markets, the Coventry Regional Farmers’ Market, now in its eighth year of operation, is one of the largest and most heavily attended. In 2011, it accounted for $500,000 in sales and was visited by over 75,000 people.

      Read more at the link below. AND, THANK YOUUUUUUUUUUUU!!!!!!!!

    3. LAST PUBLIC Meeting to determine the fate of the Coventry Farmers' Market

      Emily Brooks
      Petition Organizer

      The final PUBLIC MEETING:

      The final public Planning & Zoning meeting to determine the fate of the Coventry Regional Farmers’ Market will be on Monday, January 16th at 7pm at the Coventry Town Hall Annex Building at 1712 Main Street in Coventry. Thousands have shown support for the Coventry Farmers’ Market by attending prior public meetings, sending letters of support, and signing the online petition..

      According to Winter Caplanson, Executive Director of the nonprofit Coventry Regional Farmers’ Market:
      “I know that the hearing is still open... people can speak and information can be presented. They have not asked us for any new information. But after Monday, they cannot extend it any further without our permission. The hearing must be closed after Monday night which means no new information can be taken into consideration. They DO NOT have to vote to issue a special permit for the farmers’ market Monday night, though we hope they will."

    4. Reached 1,500 signatures
    5. Get ready for an epic PUBLIC meeting! How many signatures can we get?

      Emily Brooks
      Petition Organizer

      Monday night, January 9th, the town of Coventry's planning and zoning commission will hold a public hearing on the Coventry Regional Farmers' Market's application for a special permit for the Silver Street site. The hearing, at 7 p.m. in the Coventry High School lecture hall, 78 Ripley Hill Road, is a continuation of the Dec. 12 hearing on the application. The commission is also expected to decide Monday whether to issue the special permit.

      PZC Special Meeting
      Monday, January 09, 2012 at 7:00 PM
      For continued discussion of the Coventry Regional Farmers Market special permit.
      Location: CHS Lecture Hall (Coventry High School)
      78 Ripley Hill Road, Coventry, CT 06238

      Contact information for the Town of Coventry Planning & Zoning:

      Eric Trott, Director of Planning & Development etrott@coventryct.org

      Bonnie Potocki, Zoning Enforcement Officer bpotocki@coventryct.org

      Todd Penney, Town Engineer/Inland Wetlands Agent tpenney@coventryct.org

    6. Reached 500 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Margaret Boucher STATESVILLE, NC
      • over 2 years ago

      And again the Gov. it getting in the way of our local farmers. You need to let these people do what they do best. Stop the Red tape

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Joan George ANDERSON, IN
      • over 2 years ago

      Everyone has a right to have access to healthy, natural, organic, locally grown foods.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Ronald MacDonald VANCOUVER, CANADA
      • over 2 years ago

      We need farmers market to support our local farmers and artisans. I just wish this farmers market can continue. Good luck to Emily Brooks and area locals.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Cindi Casko UPTON, ME
      • over 2 years ago

      Because the laws in this country are made by politicians who sit in an office all day in the city and have no regard for the people who still would like to live a more basic and simple lifestyle. People who still like to eat healthier and support the LOCAL market and not a foreign country where the politicians will get a kick back for promoting it. We ARE the people and WE should have a say in the laws and not be ignored!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Zoe Pike OLD LYME, CT
      • over 2 years ago

      This is an amazing Farmers' Market and we should all, everyone one of us, be doing everything possible to support and sustain our local agriculture! It's healthy for our body, mind and economy!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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