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LAGUNA BEACH : City Staff Exploring Farmers Market Plan

August 27, 1994|LESLIE EARNEST

The City Council has instructed the staff to explore the possibility of allowing an open air "farmers market" to operate on city property.

City Manager Kenneth C. Frank said he has been approached by several private groups who would like to install such a market in the parking lot next to City Hall on weekends or mid-week evenings.

At the council meeting this week, several residents spoke in favor of allowing a fresh produce market.

"I think a farmers market would be a real asset," Marilyn Johnson said. "I just think it would bring a little uplift to our city that has been going through a lot."

Former Chamber of Commerce president Becky Carey said a recent chamber survey showed that having such a market in town was a priority for many residents.

"I think it would be a real benefit," Carey said. "It's something a lot of people have wanted to do in our downtown."

But resident Wayne Baglin questioned the wisdom of using a parking space for the market.

"We need parking more than anything else in town," he said. "Please don't bring more congestion and people we don't need when we prefer to have a little bit of peace and quiet."

While the city hall parking lot is used heavily during summer festival months, it is apt to be available at other times, Frank reported in a memo to the council.

Other cities have allowed open air markets to operate on public property in exchange for a percentage of the gross receipts and/or a flat fee, the memo says.

The council voted unanimously to have city staff explore various sites in town where such a market could operate.

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