Earlier this week, Bearss Groves took to Facebook to address its customers and community, asking for their help to keep the 30 year-old produce stand open at 14316 Lake Magdalene Blvd.
“We need to make our voices heard! And you can help us do that by sending a letter of support (via email) for our planned development rezoning!” Bearss Groves wrote.. “We are rezoning the property in order to stay open and operate our farm stand.”
The post's accompanying photo reads: "We need your help so we can stay open."
Ownership states that they need as many people as possible to email [email protected] with the subject line “Support PD 22-0864,” asking the Hillsborough County government to rezone the historic small business.
Bearss Groves also encourages its supporters to include in their emails how valuable of a community asset it is. In addition to its plea on social media, ownership has also placed a physical sign in the front of the produce market, asking passersby to email as well.
Earlier this year, the popular produce stand said it was in danger of shutting down, citing built-up fines accrued because the county did not recognize Bearss Groves as an agricultural stand.
Although a rezoning would not address the fines, it would allow the farmer's market to sell non-agricultural products, according to Hillsborough County Commissioner Ken Hagan.
Kagan tells CL that after seeking protections under Florida's Greenbelt Law and a nonresidential farm buildings statute didn't work out, they turned to a rezoning instead.
After the rezoning is hopefully approved (Hagan thinks it will happen this fall) then he and Lawrance can focus on on the thousands of dollars of built-up fines. Although he's confident that the rezoning will be approved, he still encourages Bearss Groves' supporters to email the Hillsborough County government.
For the latest information on the popular North Tampa produce stand, follow its Facebook at @BearssGroves.