Over the past several weeks, residents and businesses have sent more than 250 e-mails to CD4 City Council Member David Ryu, urging him help keep the Larchmont Farmers Market just as it is. As we have previously reported, the fate of the market has been up in the air since the announcement that the proposed construction of a children’s playground would permanently remove six parking spaces on the south edge of the parking lot where the market is located. That construction could also affect the size and location of the Market, and the market manager announced consideration of possibly expanding the enterprise, and moving it one block north to Larchmont Blvd., between Beverly and Rosewood.
Gilbert met with Ryu over the weekend to ask him to put the playground on hold until he could hear from more community members about the farmers market and the playground, because Gilbert discovered that many residents and businesses had not been aware of the plan to install a playground.
“We met yesterday at my house,” Gilbert told the Buzz this morning. “Councilmember Ryu listened as I shared with him all I’ve discovered about the past outreach, or what I presented as a lack of it, and he readily agreed on what we both felt was best for the neighborhood. First, to hold a community meeting to hear the voices of all concerned citizens on the issues of keeping the market in its current location, as well as opinions on the need and wisdom for replacing six parking spots on Larchmont with a children’s play space. And second, to halt all construction for the playspace until the community is heard,” said Gilbert.
“For now, the system worked, thanks to the 250-plus friends, neighbors and merchants who took the time to contact Ryu’s office,” Gilbert told the Buzz. “I’m hoping that when Councilmember Ryu hears the community’s response to both issues, he will do the right thing, even if it means ending the playspace that he originally supported. But if the community comes out in favor of the playspace, then let’s go for it. All we want is a chance to be heard.”
Ryu’s office confirmed to the Buzz today that it does intend to hold a community meeting soon, so the Councilmember can hear from the community.
“We are planning to hold a meeting in the next few weeks, when there is availability for space and we can give notice to folks to attend,” Ryu’s Press Secretary Mark Pampanin told the Buzz. He added, “The meeting will allow the community to discuss this issue, and also give the Councilmember an opportunity to express his support for the Farmers Market. He values open open space, but is also a strong supporter of farmers markets, too, because they serves as community gathering space,” said Pampanin. “The Larchmont Farmers Market is a great example of that, and the Councilmember has always supported the Market and wants to continue that support.”
Pampanin also shared the following statement from Ryu’s office, addressed to the Greater Larchmont Community:
Councilmember Ryu appreciates your outreach regarding the Larchmont Farmer’s Market. After receiving a large volume of interest, our plan is to hold a community meeting to share information with neighbors about the Larchmont Farmer’s Market and play space at the city’s parking lot at 209 North Larchmont Blvd and obtain feedback, to be scheduled as soon as possible. Any construction activities will be placed on hold pending the community meeting.
Councilmember Ryu supports the community Farmers Markets across Council District Four, but especially values the Larchmont Farmers Market for it’s long-standing role as a community gathering space. As stated previously, Councilmember Ryu does not support any plans that don’t include a bright future for the Larchmont Farmers Market. As a champion for local business and building more open space, Councilmember Ryu looks forward to engaging further with the community.
We hope to see you there.
As for the construction schedule, Pampanin confirmed that the construction of playground is on hold until after community meeting.
We will keep you posted on the details of the meeting, as soon as they are announced.