Weekly event gets more time at location
The Saturday Farmers Market will have to leave the Cota Street commuter lot whenever the Santa Barbara Police Department’s new station gets built there.
But the market will have more time at its current location because of the Santa Barbara City Council’s decision to delay construction and remove $2 million for the station from the fiscal year 2021 budget.
The budget cut comes after COVID-19 impacts and societal concern over policing in the wake of George Floyd’s murder.
In an interview with the News-Press, Sam Edelman, the Santa Barbara Certified Farmers’ Market Association general manager, said the organization wants its Saturday Market to remain at the Cota lot for “as long as possible.”
That said, the organization has already found a new location for the day that it’s time to move and is going through the process of getting the site approved.
“We’re just kind of going to let the process play out, but we’d like to stay where we are as long as we can,” Mr. Edelman said.
That new space is a site at the 00 block of East Carrillo Street and 00 block of West Carrillo Street between Anacapa and Chapala Streets, and the 900 and 1000 blocks of State Street located between Figueroa and Canon Perdido Streets. It’s referred to as the “Carrillo Site” in the location proposal.
The SBCFMA sent Public Works a request for a conditional use permit for the new venue.
The site is one of a dozen that were considered, reviewed and discussed with the city of Santa Barbara.
According to the proposal, the Carrillo Site was chosen as the new location for the Saturday market because it met necessary criteria such as for size and configuration of space, close proximity to parking, customer walkability, shade, ambience and traffic flow.
“We believe that the Carrillo site has the greatest potential to provide a safe, family-friendly space that is well shaded, easily accessible by car, bicycle and public transportation, large enough to accommodate 95 farmers and their vehicles, easy to navigate within the market site, and surrounded by ample parking in the immediate area with the ability to accommodate the 5,000-plus attendees during peak season,” the proposal reads.
On top of being big enough to hold the SBCFMA’s members, Mr. Edelman added that the Carrillo Site is also suitable because it is centrally located in downtown Santa Barbara, accessible from many areas around town and is close to HIghway 101.
The SBCFMA is a statewide program, and around 85 percent of its members are farmers located within the Tri-Counties area.
The SBCFMA is now wrapped up in processing paperwork with the Transportation Division as well as other divisions within Public Works. Though Mr. Edelman admitted that he and others involved with the SBCFMA were disappointed when they found out they’d have to leave their old location for a new space, they also recognize that the Santa Barbara Police Department does need a new base of operations.
“We understand that the police need a new space for their new station because their current location is inadequate,” he said.