The owners of Valley View Farms of Northampton got the nod from the Easton Planning Commission Wednesday evening to open a year-round retail farm market in the city's West Ward district.
A long-time seller at the Easton Farmers' Market, owner Jim Ayoub plans to sell his own grass-fed meats, pasture-raised chickens and eggs, along with locally grown produce and other goods from fellow Market sellers, he said.
The location at 1458 Northampton St. will initially be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, with an eye toward eventual expansion of being open for the same hours Mondays and Tuesdays as well, he told the commission.
“It's basically intended to carry the market 12 months of the year,” Ayoub said.
Expected to be approved by the Zoning Hearing Board in October, if all goes well, Ayoub said he hopes to have the store open by sometime in November.
Also Wednesday, MetroPCS was granted Easton Planning Commission approval for a variance to place six celluar antennas and two GPS units on the water tower located at 1563 Ferry St. Attendant necessary equipment will placed in the tower's base and hidden from public view, according to submitted plans.
While generally required that such antennas be 'stealth', instead, the commission agreed to MetroPCS' proposal that they be painted to match the tower instead.
Based on the plans and the size of the tower, the addition of the antennas is unlikely to be noticed by the public, other than perhaps local MetroPCS customers.
Company representatives said the antennas are meant to fix gaps in local coverage, with an eye toward providing the area with LTE and 4G service some time in the future.
"I don't have any issues with this,” said planning commission member Dennis Leib. “I have some issues with the water tower, but it's a little late for that."
The matter will next be heard by the city's Zoning Hearing Board in October.
Two more properties on the city's list targeting 28 neglected and vacant structures it wants to declare blighted have moved one step closer to officially receiving that designation Wednesday evening.
Planning commission members approved the city's recommendation that 675 Pine St. and 687 Northampton St. -- otherwise known as the Armory -- be preliminarily declared blighted with little comment, after neither the property owners nor any representatives of the addresses came forward to answer the complaints.
Both properties have major code violations and have been vacant and uninhabitable for years, like nearly all the properties on the list, city officials said.