In November 2008, a group of Bala Cynwyd residents got together to discuss bringing a farmers market to their neighborhood. They canvassed the neighborhoods, distributed surveys in schools, talked to local businesses and scouted for a good location. They organized a "test run" of the market in September 2009 at St. Matthias Church on Bryn Mawr Avenue, and it was a wild success. Since farmers' markets were not a specifically permitted use in Lower Merion Township, a new ordinance was required to permit markets to operate. On April 7, 2010, the Lower Merion Township Board of Commissioner approved an ordinance to permit farmers' markets as a use by-right in Commercial Zones throughout the Township. Though the Friends of the Bala Cynwyd Farmers Market had hoped to operate the market at St. Matthias Church, their parking lot is zoned residential and not commercial. The Commissioners voted down an ordinance to permit Farmers' Markets in residential areas, prohibiting the St. Matthias site from consideration.
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