LA MESA, Calif. — The La Mesa Farmers Market will stay at its current location after a 3-2 vote from city councilmembers Tuesday night.
The fate of the market was up for debate after businesses shared concerns that it was taking away revenue. Others complained about a lack of parking.
Councilmembers listened to three proposals, including moving the market to a parking lot at Grossmont Center.
“We’ve gotten hundreds of emails in the last week. Nine out of 10 of them have been supportive of the market,” Vice Mayor Colin Parent told FOX 5.
Dozens spoke out at the meeting. The majority were in favor of keeping the market in the La Mesa Village on Friday evenings.
“I fear you’re going to tear out the spine, the heart and the soul of what La Mesa has now become,” one speaker said.
“It is a haven for families to come out and have a fun place to be,” another speaker said. “I’m asking you, please don’t change that.”
The current market manager, Brian Beevers, will stay. As a compromise with neighboring restaurants, Beevers said he is willing to reduce the number of hot foot vendors by half and delay the street closure.
Beevers will now operate the market alone, and the La Mesa Village Association will no longer sponsor it.
Peter Soutowood, chair of the La Mesa Village Association, said they will now have to look elsewhere for revenue to fund events like Holiday in the Village and Oktoberfest.
“I’m glad to see the market survive. As for as the future of our organization, that’s in jeopardy,” Soutowood told FOX 5.
Mayor Mark Arapostathis said revenue from parking meters may be used to fund events in the future.
“It went down to the wire but I think it’s a good thing,” one audience member told FOX 5. “We get to keep our market.”
The changes will take effect August 1.