The Stowe Farmers Market plans to uproot itself from its 27-year location and head about a quarter of a mile up Mountain Road.
According to a zoning application, the current location, next to the Red Barn Shops across from Cape Cod Road, is no longer an option, with the owner “foregoing” the arrangement.
Stowe zoning administrator Sarah McShane said the development review board will likely take up the application in January. She said the board has had a full docket this year, despite conducting its meetings via Zoom during the pandemic.
The new location, if approved, would be on the grounds of the Stowe Motel and Snowdrift, and would have substantially better parking options, as well as two ways to get in and out — from Luce Hill Road just before Chase Park and from Mountain Road, across the street from Darkside Snowboards and the Stowe Cantina restaurant.
According to the application, there will be parking for about 100 vehicles, in a dedicated parking lot, something that has been missing at the current location.
Jason Pacioni, vice president of the market, said in a letter accompanying the market’s zoning application that the new location will provide two driveway access locations, which will help alleviate car and pedestrian congestion at the Mountain Road and Cape Cod Road intersection. Police typically spend a good portion of Sunday monitoring that intersection, and it can become something of a pinch point — the recreation path crosses the road right there, too.
Traffic has been an issue for the market, which is held every Sunday between May and October. Cars would park where they could, whether at the Red Barn Shops or an adjacent lot owned by Stowe Kitchen Bath and Linens, or the parking lot at the Jewish Community of Greater Stowe on Cape Cod Road.
The project got a blessing from the Stowe Police Department. In a letter, police chief Don Hull said the location provides good access for vehicles and is convenient for people who want to walk from the recreation path through Chase Park.
“The Stowe Farmers Market has provided a vibrant and lively atmosphere in Stowe for many years and has become a vital aspect of commerce for many vendors and a go-to shopping experience in town,” Pacioni said in his letter. “We believe that we have the support of many of the townspeople of Stowe and expect that locals and tourists alike would want to see the Stowe Farmers Market continue to thrive along the Mountain Road.”