Eastern Market Update: Weekend Flea Market, North Hall, Weekday Farmers’ Line

Eastern Market Update:  Weekend Flea Market, North Hall, Weekday Farmers Line

by Larry Janezich

The Eastern Market Community Advisory Committee (EMCAC) chaired by Donna Scheeder,  met Wednesday night for its regularly scheduled monthly meeting.  Among the items they considered were the following.

Weekend Flea Market

Following emmcablog’s report that the current Stanton/Eastbanc plan for accommodating the weekend flea market on the new Hine development’s plaza provided only 68 spaces for tents, EMCAC member Monte Edwards told the Committee:  “An essential element of the market experience is the weekend flea market.  It has been recognized in legislation, by EMCAC, and in the RFP for the Hine development.  Over 100 spaces were to be provided – 120 to 180 are needed.  We should continue advocating at least as many spaces as currently provided for the flea market vendors.”

EMCAC voted 8-0 to send letters to Stanton/Eastbanc, ANC6B, Council Members, and the Deputy Mayor in support of maintaining the current size of the weekend flea market.  EMCAC’s ANC representative Brian Pate abstained, noting that he had already voted on the issue, in support of similar supporting language he had sponsored in a measure which came before the ANC on Tuesday night.  ANC6B voted to ask the Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB) to consider recommending more space for the weekend flea market in the Hine development (see emmcablog posting on Wednesday July 27).   A subsequent Historic Preservation Office staff report which will go to the HPRB states:  “This is primarily a programmatic issue related to use and thus outside the Board’s jurisdiction.  The applications are encouraged to continue discussions with the community and with flea market management on this issue.”

Weekday Farmer’s Line

Market Manager Barry Margeson is attempting to find farmers who will commit to selling produce on a weekday on the Eastern Market farmer’s line.  In addition to the difficulty in finding farmers to come into the city midweek is the fact that growers need to plan a year in advance where they will sell produce.  This makes it unlikely anything can happen until next summer.   EMCAC members Chuck Berger, Brian Pate, and Richard Layman will form an ad hoc committee to assist Margeson in making the weekday farmer’s line a reality.

North Hall Rules

Eastern Market Manager Barry Margeson is drafting rules for daytime public use of the North Hall.  The city will not close the doors to public use during the day, but users should expect a ban on rollerblades, bikes, soccer, and unsupervised play, as well as other restrictions.  There may be a small fee imposed for organized activities, such as the popular Thursday music programs for children.  Margeson will bring the proposed rules to EMCAC for their consideration.  It seemed to be the consensus of the committee that they do not want to interfere with public access to the North Hall for use as a community center – but the feeling was strong that it should not be an unregulated recreation center.

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