By Mike Kruzman /

Brighton City Council has received guidance on the popular Farmers Market and whether it’s in compliance with Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s many executive orders.

At a previous meeting, council members questioned the market’s compliance with executive orders relative to the pandemic, specifically with regards to maximum capacity limits for outdoor events. At last Thursday’s regular meeting, they received a letter back from the City’s law firm addressing this. Attorney Jeffrey Alber wrote that farmers markets, dating back to the first “stay home” order, have fallen within the food and agriculture sector and are therefore able to operate. He noted that markets are also “essential services” and fall outside of the definition of an “event,” with “events” being deemed non-essential. This means that event capacity limits don’t apply, but markets must still be modified with mandated health and safety practices. According to Executive Order 2020-168, food selling employees and customers must still remain 6-feet apart to the maximum extent possible.

Mayor Pro-Tem Susan Gardener said space shouldn’t be much an issue downtown, with it being open air, and easy-in easy-out if someone feels uncomfortable.

Councilman Jim Bohn said his concern was for vendors at the Brighton Farmers Market that aren’t selling food and whether they are legally allowed to participate. Attorney Paul Burns said they don’t have any more information other than what is in the executive orders, and that the biggest issues they have to deal with are the six foot parameters and density of attendance. For outdoor markets, Alber wrote they should calculate the total square footage of customer space, and divide by 113, which is the square footage of a circle with a 6-foot radius.

At the frequency which executive orders have been issued, Alber recommended reviewing these items regularly, along with checking in with the Livingston County Health Department to discuss any concerns or guidance it may have.