Danville Express

Newsfront - October 5, 2007

County holds hearing for Windmill Farms

Decision expected in two weeks

by Natalie O'Neill

More than 40 Windmill Farms supporters gathered at a hearing Tuesday to send the county health department the message that the open-air market is a clean, safe establishment and isn't in need of four walls.

Health services employees also made their points, noting bulk food and cut melons are more likely to be contaminated in the market's outdoor environment. No decision was made Tuesday.

"It could go either way," said Jason Smith, a 33-year owner of the iconic San Ramon business.

A decision will be made within two weeks by Health Services Director William Walker.

"His concerns are for the health and safety of the public. I'm sure he'll be considering the full range of problems and solutions," said Sherman Quinlan, Director of Environmental Health.

Owners say adding four walls and a ceiling is a venture they can't afford and so is cutting out bulk food and cut fruit sales. It could shut them down, they say.

During the public comment period, longtime Danville patrons told their stories about what the farm means to their family and the community.

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