RANCHO SANTA FE — Not everyone thinks a farmers market in Rancho Santa Fe is a good idea and said so at the Nov. 15 meeting of the Association.
“I would like to know who will the customers will be and who will the vendors be?” resident Rory Kendall said. “I am not so sure about bringing other people into the community. That is not what Rancho Santa Fe is about. People from outside the community don’t show us the proper respect.”
Shaking his head he said: “I don’t get it.”
Association Director Eamon Callahan, who has been sitting in on the meetings of the market organizers, said the farmers market was considered because there were concerns the downtown area was turning into a banking and investment center and that retail stores are disappearing.
“A number of merchants were hoping that bringing people into the area would give them the opportunity to get to know Rancho Santa Fe,” Callahan said.
“It doesn’t sound like this is something for us, but it is for bringing in people from the outside,” Kendall said.
Jim Simpson, a longtime resident, was not sold on the proposed location of the market.
“I am supportive of the idea of bringing people to the downtown area, but I think this (plan) will have a negative impact on the people who live in the Village,” Simpson said.
He said parking is an issue during the work week in his neighborhood along with added trash, noise and other residue connected with people who work in the Village. Placing the farmers market where it is currently proposed would extend the impact on his neighborhood into the weekend.
The most likely proposal for the location of the market would be closing El Tordo between Avenida de Acacias and La Granada during the farmers market, said Ivan Holler, planning director for the Association. It would take place between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Saturdays.
Simpson suggested moving the market to an area near the Bank of America where there is plenty of parking on the weekends.
“There are other choices,” he said.
Callahan said other places have been considered, but nothing is off the table at the moment.
“We are still open to look at it,” he said.
The idea for a farmers market in the Village came about nine months ago.
One of the organizers, local realtor Janet Christ, said at the Nov. 1 meeting that before the farmers market can move forward, the county needed the go-ahead from the Association.
There are other issues to be addressed such as getting road closure approval from the county as El Tordo is a public roadway, and the issue of permanent signs being likely to announce the time of the road closures and the market.
Christ said the farmers market will be self-sustaining because vendors will pay a small fee for a spot at the market and also a portion of their profits. The rest will be donated to Archie’s Acres for its Veterans Sustainable Agriculture Training Program that teaches veterans how run organic sustainable farms.
The farmers market will not cost the Association anything monetarily and all costs will be picked up by the organizers.
The issue of the farmers market was tabled at the Nov. 1 meeting to give members of the community a chance to weigh in on the subject.
“If it is not fine for the local residents, we are not going there,” said Association Vice President Anne Feighner who thanked the residents for their opinions and urged others to make their opinions known before the decision is made.
Anyone who is interested in commenting about the issue may do so by calling the Association at (858) 756-1174 or putting their thoughts in writing. An email may be sent to Association Manager Peter Smith at email@example.com.