Council Notes – Farmer’s Market to Relocate?

The City Council Meeting on March 11, 2019 was very focused on being gracious and green; recognizing Ana Wong for her winning “Water is Life” art, recounting the success of the ‘community conversations’ events, talking about taking down the “Doctor’s House” and moving the Farmer’s Market.

Shea Cunningham, head of Balanced Approach Strategic Sustainable Services, awarded the 2019 Culver City Sustainable Business Certifications. She also moved towards taking the program in to a third year with the city, and finding a way to give the city full responsibility for the next batch of qualifying businesses.

The Chamber of Commerce President Colin Diaz also spoke to the council in regard to giving the city ownership of the Mayor’s Luncheon. In the past, it was a formal luncheon held as a fundraiser for the Chamber, at the end of the mayoral term in April. With the Chamber stepping away, the event looks to be held at the Robert Frost as a free ticket for the the public. The Chamber will support by publicizing the event, but will no longer own it.

Volunteer organization L.A. Works was granted sponsorship for a day of service on income inequality scheduled for  June 15, 2019 at Veteran’s Park.

The city is asking for bids to demolish the ‘Doctor’s House’ – the property at 9814 Washington that was to have been the new home of the Jazz Bakery. While the Jazz Bakery made a few moves towards creating the address as a new showcase for jazz, including a possible design by Frank Gehry, the lack of movement over many years has closed that possibility. With an informal request from the council to the Historical Society to make sure the property has been documented for posterity, the city has decided to begin a Request for Proposals to see what could be created in that space.

Since Cynthia Ojeda took over as manager of the Farmer’s Market, she has made some changes, and many feel the market has benefitted. But the next change is one that she sees as negative; the opening of the Culver Steps will mean moving the market.  “Of the many farmer’s markets I’ve managed, one that had to move saw a 60% drop in revenue.”

Remarks from the council framed the move as needed, and comments from the podium also supported the move. Seth Horowitz, the manager of the Culver Hotel, offered himself as a huge fan of the market, but also a supporter of the move. “Our kitchen, our chefs, shop there and the produce is outstanding, but the traffic is going to need Main Street to be open.”

Other merchants from Main Street, who had spoken out about their difficulties with the market in the past, spoke out again. Leah Koch, of Ripped Bodice Bookstore, noted that “[The Farmers Market] really hurts our business. We would just be closed on Tuesdays, but in the publishing world, Tuesday is when new books come out.”

After many suggestions from the podium and the dais, the question as to where and when to move the market was left open.

 

Judith Martin-Straw

 

www.culvercitysymphony.org

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