F’ville to decide ‘what is a flea market’ and then regulate it
So what exactly is a flea market? The answer to that question and a proposed ordinance to regulate businesses marketed as flea markets will be the subject of a discussion Thursday night at the Fayetteville City Council.
City Director of Planning and Economic Development Brian Wismer in an Aug. 3 letter said the intent of the ordinance is to provide formal guidelines for flea markets and not to prohibit them. Those guidelines would come with high standards of performance, he said.
Wismer said the proposed ordinance sets parameters for zoning, licensing, establishes interior design criteria and prohibits vendor sales in parking lots.
If approved next month, the ordinance would allow flea markets as special exceptions only in the C-3 (Highway Commercial) and M-1 (Light Manufacturing) zoning districts.
The city is sympathetic to the current business climate, Wismer said, adding the prolonged downturn in the economy has made flea markets a more popular business model for generating income. Wismer also noted that the emergence of flea markets can lead to a negative public perception that commercial development in the area is declining.
Wismer said flea markets in the city have created the need for ongoing staff inspections due to code violations and general safety concerns. City staff has also fielded numerous citizen complaints and concerns about existing flea markets, Wismer added.
The council on Aug. 16 will hear the first reading of the proposed ordinance. The second reading and possible approval could come in September.