COUDERSPORT — The open-air “market village” planned for downtown Coudersport was discussed during the Potter County Planning Commission’s meeting Tuesday afternoon.
Modeled after Tionesta Market Village, a semi-permanent “village” of short-term rental spaces is planned to go at the corner of Second and North East Streets, Coudersport, where people can rent out an open-backed shed and sell their goods and crafts from. The county hopes for it to work in conjunction with the Potter County Farmers Market, which sets up in that area on Fridays between May-October.
“The very last thing that I ever want to do is push our farmers market out. I want them to stay, I want those folks to stay there and continue to provide the services they have. It’s just one way to enhance the lot with a more long term venue,” Will Hunt, planning director, said.
This will be an opportunity for entrepreneurs who can’t or don’t want to put forth a ton of money for a main street storefront. Coudersport is the starting point for the project, though they hope to expand it out into other areas in the county.
It’s also a way to market the area.
“We’re a destination already with the Dark Skies, so this will be daytime stuff,” Katie Sasala, planning commission member, said. This will give tourists something to do and another reason to stay in Potter County during the day.
Hunt said they hope to use local contractors to build the village buildings. It has also gained interest from some boy scout troops.
Pete Wyatt, of Coudersport, was at the meeting to share some ideas he had for the Coudersport village after visiting Tionesta Market Village. He suggested there be an ATM readily available for patrons, as many of the vendors only accepted cash. He said there should be ample parking close by, pets should be allowed and a variety of merchandise should be for sale with little overlap between merchants.
The planning commission reviewed a plan for single family housing rentals in Ulysses Township. Preston Hoopes plans to build 14 residential homes on Laucke Mills Road, Ulysses. The homes will have three bedrooms with a one car garage.
Hunt said affordable housing is part of the county’s 10-year comprehensive plan and something that came up often as part of the focus group discussion.
“(Hoopes) has a rental there in Ulysses borough and in a matter of just a few hours from advertising the rental, he had seven to 10 phone calls looking to occupy the home,” Hunt said. So building a larger complex made sense.
Construction is scheduled to continue on into the fall, Hunt said.