Planners recommend expansion of agricultural uses

by Bill Nachman - Posted on Jun 20, 2012 - 01:33 PM

The Gloucester County Planning Commission recommended changes to the zoning ordinance on June 7 that will add agritourism activities, aquaculture facilities and seasonal sales as specifically defined uses.

The suggested changes would provide for agritourism activities by special exception, with criteria that have to be met in the C-2, RC-1, RC-2, and SC-1 districts, planner Tripp Little said.

Meanwhile, aquaculture facilities would be allowed as permitted uses in the B-1, B-4, RC-1 and RC-2 districts (with supplementary requirements for permitting and handling) and by special exception with set criteria in the C-1, C-2 and SC-1 districts.

Seasonal sales and farmers’ markets would also be permitted in all business districts, a county notice said.

The ordinance provides definitions for aquaculture and related terms, redefines farmers’ markets, farm produce stands and wayside stands, and provides a definition for seasonal sales and a process for issuing permits for seasonal sales and farmers’ markets.

During a public hearing in the colonial courthouse, Connie Leigh, who owns a farm off Hall Town Road with her husband, Barry, said they support allowing wayside stands which will help them sell some of their extra produce.