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Villaraigosa Signs Special Events Ordinance into Law

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No longer are the days of inconsistent actions regarding how the city approves and pays for special events like neighborhood block parties, farmers markets, festivals and larger, more notable street closures for events like the Oscars and Emmys (which means street closures this weekend in downtown). Some of those larger events like the Oscars will get half their fees waived while other events like farmers markets are left in the dark. The city says they need to entice events such as the Oscars to stay in Los Angeles as they contribute heavily to the local economy--caterers, flowers, fashion, tourism, etc. Farmers markets also contribute to the economy and organizers fear the new ordinance will force them to shut down as money raised is not enough to pay for street closures. Although Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa signed the ordinance into law today, his office tells LAist that he fully supports Farmers Markets and knows they are vital assets to our communities (case in point, a local food policy is in the works). The City Council is currently looking into a way to adapt the new ordinance to waive or minimize the fees for the markets.