Coweta looks to increase roadside produce sales

The availability for Coweta County residents to purchase fresh produce from roadside stands will be the topic of an upcoming public hearing before the Coweta County Commission. A proposed ordinance amendment outlines the criteria for both temporary and permanent produce stands along county roadways.

County Planning Director Robert Tolleson in a June 27 letter to commissioners said his department has received numerous requests pertaining to the permitting of produce stands at major crossroads in the county. Tolleson in the letter noted that a majority of the requested locations are situated within the boundaries of the county’s Quality Development Corridor District that prohibits the sale of outside goods.

Tolleson said the department, “Believes produce stands are a benefit to the citizens allowing the purchase of fresh foods at convenient locations, and that the placement of such facilities can be accomplished without being a detriment to the aesthetics of the surrounding area.”

To that end, the Planning Department is recommending that the Coweta County Zoning and Development Ordinance be amended to establish appropriate zoning districts for both temporary and permanent produce stands and to provide regulations for their use and development.

A public hearing on the matter will be held Aug. 18.

Tolleson in the letter cited the suggested components of the proposed ordinance.

Temporary produce stands inside the Quality Development Corridor District can be reviewed and approved administratively provided:
-maximum duration of the stand is three months;

-tents of a neutral color will be required and no truck or trailer sales without a tent will be allowed;

-maximum canopy size is 400 square feet;

-site must have adequate drive access and be accompanied by a letter from the appropriate transportation agency; and

-produce stands would be allowed in Commercial, Neighborhood Business, Commercial Retail and Commercial Convenience Store zoning districts provided adequate parking and access is available.

Permanent produce stands will be reviewed and approved by commissioners with a conditional use permit provided:

-design of the permanent stand meets appropriate commercial architectural standards;

-stand must be an accessory use on an improved lot with adequate parking; and

-site must have adequate drive access as demonstrated by a letter from the appropriate transportation agency.