Supporters seek to save the Hollywood Farmers’ Market

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A vendor prepares paella, a Spanish dish, at the Hollywood Farmers' Market on March 1, 2002.

T-shirts urging “Save the Hollywood Farmers’ Market” will be handed out Sunday morning during what may be the last — or one of the last — times the outdoor market is set up in that neighborhood.

Situated at Ivar and Selma avenues, between Hollywood and Sunset boulevards, the organizers of the street market, Sustainable Economic Enterprises of Los Angeles, are in a dispute with the L.A. Film School, which claims vendors are blocking access to a school parking lot on Sundays.

When SEE, which oversees eight of the markets in the Los Angeles area, attempted to renew its permit to hold the event on the street, the school objected, causing the city to withhold the renewal.

The city later issued a temporary permit, but according to protest organizer Gabrielle Frankel, who said she attends the weekly outdoor event :like it was church,” several vendors told her Sunday may be the last time the market is set up in that neighborhood.

SEE’s website, Farmernet.com, says the market will be open today “at its usual time and place (8 a.m. to 1 p.m.),” but further stated, "While we are happy to announce that the city has issued the market a four-week permit to continue operating, until early January, the issue is not resolved.”

According to the L.A. Weekly, “The Hollywood market will be open this Sunday, but after that its future is uncertain.”

The Weekly reported that a meeting to try and resolve the impasse is scheduled for Monday.

A representative for SEE was not immediately available for comment.

An online petition on SEE’s website states that, “Despite the fact that the market has already accommodated the film school by providing access to the film school's parking structure since 2007, the school is still not satisfied.

“It wants the Farmers’ Market to vacate all of Ivar south of Selma so that they can have access to an additional 120 rooftop parking spaces — on a day when they are closed, do not even hold classes and routinely have abundant unused spaces in their primary garage to which they have uninterrupted access."

According to the LA Weekly, the film school's issue isn't so much about parking as it is about access to the school's jigsaw campus.

The Hollywood Farmers' Market is a “certified,” open-air, weekly street market with about 90 farmers, 30 local artisans and 30 baked goods and prepared food vendors.

SEE asserts losing that section of Ivar could result in "a loss of 50 percent of the certified farmers and reduction of approximately one-third of the total vendors. It cannot be re-configured within the existing neighborhood without multiple ramifications -- including the possibility of losing the Farmers’ Market in its entirety.”

The L.A. Film School issued a “fact sheet” noting the school believes the farmers' market “is a valuable institution in the Hollywood community and that the market should continue to operate.”

It says that as the film school has grown, it has worked with the market “for a number of years and agreed to compromises that were mutually acceptable relating to parking and placement of vendor stalls.

“We continue to believe that there are amicable solutions that can be reached to allow the Hollywood Farmers' Market to continue while allowing our students access and use of our campus for their education ... We would enjoy nothing more than for the market to flourish in the same way we want to see our students flourish.”

The fact sheet also noted that the film school is open on weekends and students use the facility on Sundays to work on their projects.


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