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Amid tension and concern, the Hollywood Farmers’ Market received a one- month extension to its street closure permit Monday night, allowing the popular market to continue uninterrupted through May 17.
At issue between the Hollywood Farmers’ Market and the L.A. Film School, which owns the property at 6363 Sunset Blvd, are the parking spaces that the market takes away from students and faculty at the school on Sundays.
“We believe that, after three months of discussion, we have made progress toward a long-term resolution of the issues that have been raised about the location of the Hollywood Farmers’ Market,” Los Angeles City Council President Eric Garcetti, 13th District, and See-LA (Sustainable Economic Enterprises of Los Angeles) board president Michael Woo, said in a joint statement. “We are pleased that the Los Angeles Board of Public Works has agreed to extend the Hollywood Farmers’ Market street closure permit until May 17 to give us additional time to find the solution that best meets the market’s needs. We remain committed to keeping the Hollywood Farmers’ Market thriving in Hollywood with the market’s anchor at the Selma/Ivar intersection and without any new financial burden on the market.”
The market’s previous six-month permit expired last week. After a one-week extension was granted, a lot was riding on Monday’s closed-door meeting, which the representatives from the L.A. Film School did not attend.
Last week, Albert Villalta, vice president of marketing for the L.A. Film School, said the school would not object to the market receiving a six-month permit extension, providing the market approved the proposals the school suggested. They include moving the market to Hollywood Boulevard, between Cahuenga Boulevard and Vine Street, or relocating to Vine Street, between Hollywood and Sunset Boulevards. However, that endorsement on the school’s part would mean the market would move from its current location.
“We would endorse a six-month extension, which would help with the transition,” an L.A. Film School spokesperson said. “We want to make this transition as easy as possible. We believe it’s a win-win situation for everybody involved. We don’t expect [the market] to come back with another proposal.”
Recently, the market has moved vendors on the southern end of Ivar Avenue to allow access to the second level of the film school’s Morningside Court parking structure, but according to Pompea Smith, CEO and market manager for the Hollywood Farmers’ Market, that has not been enough to satisfy the film school.
“We have done our share and have looked at alternative locations with the understanding that the film school would provide a feasibility study,” Smith said. “We’ll do additional work to look into moving, but that doesn’t mean we’re committing ourselves. The whole thing revolves around the film school not approving the closure of South Ivar Avenue on Sunset Boulevard.”
Although the film school has not provided feasibility information, it has looked into connecting its two parking structures and decided against it.
“We looked into the feasibility and realized it was not a viable option, financially or from a safety standpoint,” Villalta said. “All parties want to continue with business as usual. Closing the market has never been an issue. It has never been discussed. We’re all committed to resolving this.”
While the next four weeks will be business as usual for the market, both Smith and Michael Woo, assured that negotiations would continue on a long term solution.
“The city is giving us this time to see how we want to respond to the L.A. Film School,” Woo said. “We’re discussing alternatives, but with any alternatives there are complications. Our preference is not to make any change to the footprint of the market.”
“[City Council President] Garcetti has tried to mediate and has done his best so that both parties will thrive,” Smith said. “But now we need to meet with our board and decide what to do next.”
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