L.A. Farmers Plant Foot Down in Parking Lot Dispute

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April 5, 2011; Source: Los Angeles Times | So far no food fights have broken out, but neither side of a land dispute has settled on a plan that would allow a popular Hollywood farmers market, run by a nonprofit, to keep operating. The April 12 deadline is fast approaching for resolving the disagreement between the market and the adjacent Los Angeles Film School, which asked the city to revoke the permit that allows the farmers’ group to close a two-block stretch of traffic on Sunday mornings.

The school complained to the city that the street closure blocks access to its garage. Pompea Smith, head of the Sustainable Economic Enterprises of Los Angeles, the nonprofit group that oversees this and other farmers' markets in the city, is hoping that deadline can be extended and a resolution reached that's favorable to both parties.

A spokesman for City Councilman Eric Garcetti, who is sympathetic to the nonprofit, said "the city is committed to the farmers market remaining open until a final plan is developed." The Los Angeles Times reports that Garcetti already helped delay rescinding of the market's street-closure permit. The dispute began last December, and so far, no compromise has been found – including adjusting the layout of the market or joining the garage with another parking lot to solve the access problem.—Bruce Trachtenberg