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Jonesborough Flea Market to soon host farm animal auctions

Stockyard auctions are returning to the Jonesborough Flea Market.
In a last-minute item accepted for the agenda, members of the Washington County Regional Planning Commission gave unanimous approval to the site plan submitted by Joe Wilson during their June meeting.
Wilson, who has owned the Jonesborough Flea Market for 28 years, also owned the original stockyard on the site. Though the building burned down more than a decade ago, he says it’s time to bring the service back.
“I felt like there was a need because people are carrying their animals as far as Mountain City,” Wilson said.
“Some of the gentlemen who just got their (auctioneer) license or will be getting their license are ones who have been carrying their animals that far.”
Soon to be sharing auctioneer duties at the stockyard with Wilson are Dan Sanders, president of Old South Ironworks; Tommy Johnson, land surveyor with Tennessee Professional Surveying Inc.; and Marty Johnson, broker with Keller Williams Realty.
Framing is already up on the 46-by-150-foot shed, with the roof expected to go on within the week.
“We’re getting our LLC with the state and our licenses with the city and county,” Wilson said. “Hopefully we’ll get started in the next two months.”
Vendors will be regulated by state and stockyard guidelines for the sale of chickens, fowl, calves, goats, pigs and other farm animals weighing less than 600 pounds. Auctions will be contained to the stockyard shed, and no animals will be kept on site overnight.
“We want to be a farm-friendly auction type barn,” said Wilson, who is considering holding the auctions on Saturdays and alternating weekends with Mountain City.
“No auctions will be held on Sunday, but we may lease space to the flea market for selling animals in the shed, which would offer shade and water.”
Once the final decisions are made, Wilson plans to share news of the stockyard’s return through advertising, Internet and word of mouth. “This will be good for Jonesborough,” he said.
Located at 2726 Highway 11E, Wilson said the Jonesborough Flea Market has been ranked one of the top 10 flea markets in Tennessee and one of the top 50 in the nation.
Zoning Administrator Mike Rutherford said he was willing to recommend approval of the request because Wilson’s plan isolated the auctions to one building. “The auction of animals is an allowed (zoning) use, and the closest neighbor is the highway,” he said.
Rutherford said site plans don’t require public hearings and never go to the county commission for approval, but the information from the planning commission meeting was included in the June meeting packet.