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Plans for Farmers Market in Highland Park Advance

May 25, 1989|ESTHER SCHRADER | Times Staff Writer

Plans to create a city-sponsored farmers market in Highland Park moved forward last week, with Los Angeles city officials naming Sycamore Grove Park as the site of the market.

City officials had proposed Arroyo Seco Park as a site. But when homeowners in the residential area around the park objected, officials began looking for a new site.

The farmers market will be run in its first year with a $25,000 budget approved by Department of Recreation and Parks officials earlier this month. It is scheduled to open in early August and will be the first farmers market subsidized by the city of Los Angeles.

The market, proposed by Councilman Richard Alatorre, is to operate with city funds for a year under the Department of Recreation and Parks. It is a pilot for city-sponsored markets in other parts of the city.

Recreation and parks officials will hire a part-time manager to recruit farmers and promote the market. As proposed, the market would eventually be run by a nonprofit community group.

There are three open-air markets in the city where farmers sell their wares to consumers, but all are run by private, nonprofit groups. At least six other cities in Los Angeles County subsidize farmers markets.

Since the plan to open the market became public last month, it has met little resistance. Community groups say they think that the market can help bring the diverse Highland Park community together by providing a safe and friendly atmosphere in which to buy produce and meet people.

The only opposition to the plan arose when Alatorre suggested a corner of Arroyo Seco Park for the market. An association of homeowners living near the park opposed the proposal, saying it would increase traffic, noise and trash in a residential area.

In response, city officials moved the site to Sycamore Grove Park, which is bordered by busy Figueroa Street on the west and the Pasadena Freeway on the east.

The market is to be open for three to five hours one day a week, most likely Thursday.

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