The Agricultural Land Commission is being asked for its opinion on applications from two Westsyde farmers, including a mayoral candidate in the last civic election, to hold events at their properties and expand their businesses.
City council voted similarly on both applications from Leopold Lindinger and Patricia Sullivan at 680 Dairy Rd. and Dieter Dudy and Deborah Kellogg at 710 Dairy Rd.
Both want to host events at their farms, although Dudy's application included school tours and several other uses beyond that of his neighbour.
Coun. Donovan Cavers excused himself from the debate as he has done business with the applicants.
City planner Maren Luciani said Lindinger has rented the property to mobile caterers for private events. The City received a complaint about the non-farm use last February.
The application is to hold as many as 30 catered events there per season between May and September, as well as food and garden workshops. There would not be a permanent commercial kitchen, but private mobile caterers.
Dudy's application includes a permanent commercial kitchen, tours, gatherings, agriculture-related workshops, storage, seasonal markets, a storefront and gift shop and accessory dwelling for farm help or family.
Coun. Tina Lange said Dudy took out a building permit to put up a structure for washing produce in. A commercial kitchen, a suite and a a gazebo were added to it, she said.
Luiciani said council's next step would be to forward the two proposals to the Agricultural Land Commission for it to review the applications and make recommendations.
Even if the ALC approves the applications, the City can still turn them down or send them to public hearing for input and rezoning.
She said the ALC's October agenda is already full, so she expected the applications would go to the commission in spring.
Coun. Nelly Dever reminded council that the applications could end up before council at a public hearing. Stating opinions on the applications could put councillors in a dilemma if the proposals ended up at a public hearing, she said.