Eastern Market Report – New Rules Coming for North Hall

Eastern Market Report – New Rules Coming for North Hall

by Larry Janezich

North Hall

At Wednesday’s meeting of the Eastern Market Community Advisory Committee (EMCAC), Market Manager Barry Margeson announced that a full time manager for the Market’s North Hall has been hired to schedule and manage events in the facility.  The North Hall manager will have an office in the North Hall in space previously reserved for use of caterers.  Margeson also said part of the new manager’s responsibility will be to “curb excessive use” of the hall by nannies and children who congregate there during the day on a regular basis.  He said that new rules governing the day time use of the Hall will be forthcoming.  Members of EMCAC have recently expressed concern regarding liability issues for the new governing authority, as well as excessive wear and tear occasioned by use of the facility as an unrestricted play zone.   

New Governing Authority for the Market

Vendors, farmers and merchants are still grumbling about the as-introduced version of the legislation put forward by Councilmember Wells to create a new governing structure for the Market.  They feel the measure does not protect their rights regarding grandfathering and right of first refusal.  “Grandfathering” refers to protecting the status of those vendors and merchants who were with the market when the last legislation governing the market was passed in 1997.  “Right of first refusal” refers to those vendors and merchants who have come to the Market since 1997 but have been there long enough to deserve protection. 

The timeline for passing the bill has been pushed back into the new year, allowing additional time for meetings and stakeholder input, and it seems likely that some of these concerns will be addressed before the bill is finalized.  A meeting of EMCAC’s Committee of the Whole to consider final recommendations on changes to the legislation will be held Tuesday, January 3 at 7:00pm in North Hall.  The meeting will be open to the public but since it is a working meeting, there will be no opportunity for public comment.   (An article on EMCAC’s discussion of possible changes to the legislation will be posted this weekend.) 

Rent Increase for Farmers and Vendors

As of December 1, rent increases for the farmers and food vendors who work outside the market went up 10 percent.

The new rates for farmers and food vendors range from $30 a day for a tent to $44 a day for a bay beneath the farmer’s line shed.  For non-food vendors,  rates run from $28 a day to $44 a day, depending on location. 

EMMCAC’s next regular meeting will be on December 28.

3 Comments

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3 responses to “Eastern Market Report – New Rules Coming for North Hall

  1. Vernon

    During the joint EMCAC / ANC 6B meeting to hear community feedback about the new EM Governing Authority, EMCAC promised a special meeting and promised to announce it.

    Did that meeting ever occur? If so, what happened. How does EMCAC announce meetings? I presume it’s somewhere other than their web site. The last time I looked there, the list of commissioners and meeting minutes had not been updated since mid 2009.

  2. Oboe

    Vendors, farmers and merchants are still grumbling about the as-introduced version of the legislation put forward by Councilmember Wells to create a new governing structure for the Market. They feel the measure does not protect their rights regarding grandfathering and right of first refusal.

    Good.

    The quality of vendors in the market is pretty uneven. There are a couple of really good ones, and a few that just don’t seem to care all that much. Maybe a little competition is what’s needed to give the mediocrities a swift kick in the pants.

    Personally, given the scarcity of space in the Market, and given that it’s a community resource to serve DC residents–not a handful of vendors–I think the best plan would be to allow DC residents to vote one vendor “off the island” every 2-3 years. And let someone from the outside try their hand at serving the community.

    There’s no reason we should have *two* produce vendors who are both overpriced, and whose quality compares poorly with the Safeway down the street. That’s inexcusable.

  3. Kathleen

    I agree with “Oboe;” I think there could be some improvement in the vendors. Personally, I would single out the bakery.
    On the other hand, the idea put forward in the legislation of a self-perpetuating board (cronyism, anyone?) makes me a bit unenthusiastic.