Weekly Feature

2018-03-07 / Front Page

Proposal calls for farmers market in Eastgate Plaza


One year ago, the Town of Clarence boasted just a single farmers market within its borders. Following the formation of a second market in June, a third could soon be on the way.

James Boglioli, an attorney for Benderson Development, requested from the Town Board at its Feb. 28 meeting a temporary conditional permit for a farmers market in Eastgate Plaza, located at 5183 Transit Road.

If approved, the market would be operated underneath a tent in the plaza and would be open from 3 to 7 p.m. Wednesdays, from May 2 to Oct. 24.

Boglioli assured the board that the market’s setup would completely disappear upon closing, leaving no trace of itself on the plaza grounds.

“It will be located in an underutilized area of the shopping center,” he said. “The market will be set up prior to the 3 p.m. start time and will be completely dismantled and put away by the 7 p.m. close times.”

Boglioli added that Benderson has run a similar market for the past 10 years in the Tops Market parking lot in East Aurora and that concrete barriers around the market will help to block off drive aisles.

According to Boglioli, 25 vendors have signed on to participate, ranging from those selling fresh produce and flowers to craft maple syrup and handcrafted jewelry.

In June, the Town Board approved a one-year temporary conditional permit for a farmers market at 8670 County Road. The market is situated in and around the red barn on the north side of County and is open in the fall from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

It was the first approval given to an additional farmers market to complement the existing Clarence Hollow Farmers Market at 10717 Main St.

The Clarence Hollow Farmers Market opened in June 2003 in Victoria Park on Main Street. In 2005, it moved to its current location in the Hollow, between Ransom and Salt roads. The market opens for the season each June and is open on each Saturday thereafter from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., closing on the final Saturday in October.

Supervisor Patrick Casilio expressed his disapproval of a potential farmers market in Eastgate Plaza, noting that concerns exist regarding its intended purpose.

“I just have concern that it’s not a farmers market — it’s really a flea market,” he said. “I’m worried about us going down a slippery slope that we’re now allowing flea markets in the town on the busiest street we have.”

In response, Boglioli said the market will not sell used goods and that the current vendors expressing interest are those who can be found in any traditional farmers market.

The Town Board, which holds final approval on the project, voted to send the proposal to the Planning Board where it will be reviewed later this month.

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