Glen Park News
The day before the final hearing that was to determine whether a Glen Park farmers’ market would become a reality, backers of the plan withdrew their proposal to regroup.
The Pacific Coast Farmers Market Association and the Glen Park Merchants Association, which were the project’s co-sponsors, took the proposed Wilder Street Farmers Market off the May 27 agenda of the City’s Interdepartmental Staff Committee on Traffic and Transportation—the panel that considers requests for street-closure permits—effectively ending chances for an open-air market to take place in Glen Park this summer.
In a message posted to the Glen Park Bulletin Board electronic mail list on May 16, Ric Lopez, president of the Glen Park Merchants Association, cited concerns raised by a few residents and Canyon Market, the anchor business on Wilder Street. Lopez said he planned to meet with the Pacific Coast Farmers Market Association to discuss creative ways to build support for the project so the Glen Park village could enjoy the experience of a farmers’ market.
Canyon Market co-owner Janet Tarlov says it was clear “there were still many unresolved issues for our business and several of our neighbors on Wilder Street, mainly with the location and hours of the farmers’ market. After listening to the viewpoints—both positive and negative—of our managers, staff, customers, community leaders and neighbors, we reluctantly decided to oppose the street closure outside our doors, even on a trial basis. We wholeheartedly support the idea of having a farmers’ market in Glen Park and are hopeful that with lots of community dialogue and help from City officials, another location can be found.”
Lopez has been working for three years to get a farmers’ market going in Glen Park. It wasn’t until February, when the Pacific Coast Farmers Market Association came on board, that the idea became widely public.
The first chance for public input was May 17, when the request for a weekly street closure came before the City permitting panel. While residents and businesses on Wilder who would be directly impacted by the street closure were all contacted, and some notices were posted on light poles on that street, little information was made available to the broader community. Only six people attended the initial hearing, according to Mic Ames, a Glen Park Association board member who was among them.
At that hearing, the City representatives decided to delay consideration of issuing a street-closure permit to give more time for concerns to be aired and addressed. Officials scheduled another hearing for May 27.
The topic was discussed on the streets and on two electronic neighborhood mailing lists—the Glen Park Bulletin Board list and the much larger Glen Park Parents list—but no community meetings were held. In general, the messages were very supportive of a farmers’ market, while several people weighed in saying they wanted to make sure it didn’t hurt Canyon Market, the neighborhood’s largest employer. Others stated that elsewhere in the City where there are farmers’ markets near supermarkets, the farmers’ market helped nearby businesses.
Despite the apparent tide of support for the project, at least online, Lopez sent an e-mail on May 26, the day before the second hearing, to the GP Bulletin Board list announcing he was pulling the request for a permit to give organizers a chance to rework the plan and do public outreach.
Lopez said he planned to meet with organizers in the first week of June. That would be followed by a broader community meeting for those who want to work on creating a market in the neighborhood. “We’re going to need a lot of people getting involved this time to make sure we continue in the direction of having a farmers’ market,” he said.
Lopez asked people interested in a market to either visit him at his store, ModernPast, 677 Chenery St. or call him at 333-9007.
By Elizabeth Weise