A proposal to move Ventura’s farmers’ market to a parking lot on the corner of Santa Clara and Palm streets was approved by the city’s administrative hearing officer Tuesday.
Forced out of its current site by plans for a four-story parking garage, the 45 to 70 vendors may start selling fresh produce, plants and baked goods at their new location as early as mid-March, said Karen Wetzel, operations manager for the Ventura County Certified Farmers’ Market Assn., which runs the market.
This is the second move for the open-air market that started in 1986 as a downtown redevelopment project. The farmers’ market, which does business between 8:30 a.m. and noon every Saturday, is moving from its present site near the corner of Santa Clara and California streets to make way for a city-owned parking structure, which could be under construction by the end of April.
The decision to move the market to the new location, however, may still require approval from the city’s Planning Department if a business owner files an appeal within the next 10 days.
Some merchants say they welcome the added customers the market may bring. Others, such as Joy Parker of Beverly Crafts & Fabrics on East Main Street, argued that moving the market to their vicinity would take up parking spaces needed for their own customers.