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Kanab City Council looks into legality of the Friday morning farmers market

Participants in the local farmer’s market opened the March 28, 2023, Kanab City Council meeting with public comment, stating the KCPD sent someone out to inform them they’re not allowed to continue the regular Friday morning market. They were told they weren’t allowed to operate on city property between State Bank and Comfort Suites without a business license. The farmer’s market representative contested this by citing Utah Legislature - Title 4, Chapter 5a section 104. The code does provide for exemptions to business licenses if the food products are homemade and home produced, as well as intended for home consumption, with a few caveats for allergens and similar issues - City Attorney Kent Burggraaf pointed out that law in particular is sometimes referred to as a, “lemonade stand law,” intended to allow minors to operate without being regulated and specifically deals with minors.

Image from the Kanab Farmer's Market Facebook Page.

The representative of the farmer’s market community stated, “I and a few of the other people there felt it was a little aggressive to be visited by the police.” Mayor Johnson responded that the city council would look into it, inform themselves on the subject and return with an answer hopefully by the next city council meeting, and he invited the concerned citizens to meet with the council members after the meeting and in coming days to share information.

The council gave permission to the Kane County Courthouse to use City property for dedicated accessible “handicap” parking as they expand the courthouse.

The next agenda item was in regards to Rocking V restaurant using city sidewalk space to seat some of their patrons; this has been an informal standing agreement up to this point, and as the Rocking V is in the process of a change in ownership, the new owners wished to see the agreement formalized. Responding to concerns from the council of blockages of the walkway, a representative from the restaurant added, “We want to see it not so crowded as well … it’s definitely going to get smaller, maybe like five tables out there.” The council approved the authorization to use that sidewalk area for seating, retaining the ability to revoke that permission and with the expectation of improvement in the area.

The council went on to discuss land use ordinances and what commercial uses are permitted within certain zones, with specific concerns regarding what sorts of establishments are selling different kinds of alcohol. Council member Colson stated “It’s not a moral stance … it’s about what kind of community and destination we’re trying to be.” After discussing these issues, the council took the opportunity presented by discussing permitted land use to address above concerns presented by the public on farmers markets - the council stated their intent to put a moratorium on enforcing the laws that would prevent the market’s operation, essentially granting temporary permission for the market to continue while the council continues the discussion and gathers information to be addressed at a later meeting.

The final item on the agenda was addressing updated construction standards and specifications. A representative from Iron Rock pointed out some of the regulations were, “big city requirements being required for our little city,” requirements that would cost exorbitant prices for private developers and individuals looking to develop their own private property. “If Scott [Council Member Colson] wants to develop his property, I don’t want him to have to pay an exorbitant amount to do that, in his family’s field or whatever it may be.” The issue, after discussion that took a significant amount of the meeting’s time, was determined to require additional feedback from city engineers and other local engineering experts, and was moved to be continued to give time for that feedback, as well as potential public comment in the future.

The council adjourned after a brief discussion of real property.

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