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Hope for Hollywood Farmers' Market Deflates as Street Closure Compromise Not An Easy Fix

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Photo by sfxeric via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr

Photo by sfxeric via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr
It turns out it was only wishful thinking: The Hollywood Farmers' Market's ability to operate at full-scale is not as secure as previously reported. Following a meeting attended Monday afternoon by concerned parties in the still-unresolved matter of street closures and property access on Ivar Avenue south of Selma, City Council President Eric Garcetti's office believed that a temporary solution was reached that brought hope to what appeared to be a dire situation for the cherished weekly market.

However, Alexandra Agajanian, the HFM's Assistant Manager, revealed this afternoon that the LA Film School had in fact not accepted the proposed solution to keep the market running as-is until January 9th, which returns the market to a tenuous week-to-week state of existence. The uncertainty is thanks in part to a new city ordinance covering the issuing of permits for street closures for events like the market.

Whereas in the past the market was issued its permit to use city streets by their Council office, this new ordinance necessitates the gathering of signatures on a petition by area businesses affected by the proposed closure. Agajanian indicates that the language of the new ordinance is "vague," and that in order to help them proceed with pursuing their permit, the market has sought legal counsel to help understand the law.

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Further, the solution of moving the vendors on the block in question to a block to the north is not as simple or ideal as it may have sounded following the meeting during which it was proposed. The market would be unable to use the full block, which would displace about 25 vendors. Having hoped that first the as-is operation could continue through the holidays, and that future plans would not force the market to curb its operations, Agajanian stresses the impact this street closure ordinance, and the efforts of the LA Film School have put in to oppose the permit, has on the many vendors who depend on their participation in the popular weekly market for their livelihood.

Currently, says Agajanian, there is "no solution that will allow [the HFM] to keep all their vendors." Willing to negotiate with area businesses, or seek alternative parking options for Film School students, the HFM is hoping to find an agreeable solution, "but not at the cost of farmers, vendors, and artisans."

When asked what the HFM was doing to secure their ongoing presence and scope, Agajanian said: "We're doing everything we can."