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Council moves ahead with plans for pocket farm markets

Staff reports Saanich has about 100 possible sites for pocket farmers markets

It isn’t lost on Saanich council and residents that pocket farm markets are hugely popular in neighbouring cities.

And based on Monday’s deliberation, the necessary bylaw rezoning to permit pocket farm markets will be a slam dunk. Council voted in favour of pushing the agenda item of pocket farm markets to a public hearing.

“I don’t know why we don’t already have them,” said Coun. Colin Plant.

Coun. Susan Brice echoed that, saying “[Saanich] isn’t breaking new ground, it’s happening all around. If you look at Sidney’s, or the Moss Street Market, it takes time to be successful and it needs energy to be a destination.

There were some necessary concerns expressed, such as ensuring local farmers have the opportunity to join them.

Staff confirmed to Coun. Judy Brownoff that Saanich has about 100 possible sites for pocket farmers markets. However, it’s the desire for a pocket market in the Reynolds secondary parking lot that is sparking the motion.

Cedar Hill Quadra Community Association representative Shawn Newby presented Reynolds as an option during a committee of the whole meeting, citing its current use as a Saturday morning recycling station.

The Gordon Head Residents’ Association, Blenkinsop Valley Community Association and Cadboro Bay Residents Association have all endorsed pocket farmers markets.

Council noted a public hearing will have to happen soon if Saanich is to host the pocket markets in 2016.