Fayette Alliance Supports Expanding Accessory Uses for Agricultural Markets
Update August 23, 2018: Planning Commission unanimously approved expanding accessory uses for agricultural market. The amendments will be forwarded to the Council for consideration and a vote. Stay tuned!
Fayette County is fortunate to be home to the largest stockyards east of the Mississippi River, Blue Grass Stockyards. Blue Grass Stockyards is to the cattle industry what Keeneland and Fasig-Tipton are to our equine industry. With the support of the Council, Planning Commission, and community, the Stockyards relocated their facility and created a first-of-its-kind agricultural market after the tragic fire at their previous location.
The “agricultural market” was included in the Zoning Ordinance to allow for a facility devoted primarily to the buying and selling of agricultural products, but also including accessory uses that support agriculture and agritourism. Currently, Blue Grass Stockyards is the only facility in Fayette County operating as an agricultural market. They have set the bar high. The Stockyards are an excellent representation of the agricultural cluster in Fayette County and have achieved the vision laid out in the Zoning Ordinance.
Not only do they promote production agriculture, but also other businesses and services that serve and are devoted to agriculture. The market includes a restaurant, Kentucky-proud chop shop, farrier supply, cattle companies, commodity brokers, outfitters, trucking company, and auctioneer company. Additionally, the Stockyards houses an education center where people of all ages learn about the science and practices of the beef industry.
The proposed amendments to the Zoning Ordinance do not change the intent, purpose, or concept of the agricultural market. Rather, they provide opportunities to maximize the potential such a development presents.
Importantly, the proposed changes, along with all aspects of an agricultural market, would be regulated as a conditional use. This minimizes potential adverse impacts and enables appropriate regulation of specific uses. The fact that an agricultural market is a conditional use, along with other requirements in the Ordinance, provides important protections to the Rural Service Area consistent with the Comprehensive and Rural Land Management Plans.
The requested amendments will enable an agricultural marketplace to expand the scope and scale of accessory uses to further support the agricultural economy in Fayette County, while protecting the rural and agricultural nature of the Rural Service Area. Allowing an enterprise like Blue Grass Stockyards additional options to promote agriculture and contribute to Fayette County’s economy makes sense.