Los Angeles

Alert: Los Angeles Special Events Street Closure Fees Ordinance

Update: September 18, 2009: Zach Behrens reports on LAist that Mayor Villaraigosa signed the ordinance earlier today:

Although Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa signed the ordinance into law today, his office tells LAist that he fully supports Farmers Markets and knows they are vital assets to our communities. . . . The City Council is currently looking into a way to adapt the new ordinance to waive or minimize the fees for the markets.

We’ll be interested to see if and how the Mayor’s recently announced food-focused task force addresses this issue.

Slow Food Los Angeles shares the concern of Sustainable Economic Enterprises of Los Angeles and other organizations that manage farmers’ markets about the recently passed ordinance that, if signed as written, could jeopardize the viability of farmers’ markets in communities across Los Angeles. For information about the ordinance and how you can express your concern, please read SEE-LA’s message below:

On September 1, 2009 the L.A. City Council passed Ordinance 09-0600-S46 (Special Events Special Permit Procedure/Fee Subsidy Program), changing the way the City assesses fees to “Special Events,” including local certified Farmers’ Markets. The ordinance is now awaiting Mayor Villaraigosa’s signature, with a deadline of Friday, September 18.

Under the new ordinance, certified Farmers’ Markets would be eligible for Special Event fee subsidies, but not fee waivers, as was the previous policy. If non-profit organizations that operate Farmers’ Markets are forced to pay these fees, it could result in market closures while severely limiting the ability of Farmers’ Markets and other community events to operate in Los Angeles.

As we all know, the City derives many benefits from Farmers’ Markets, including community and economic development and improved public health. We are urging Mayor Villaraigosa and the City Council to amend the ordinance to recognize the special value of certified Farmers’ Markets and ensure their continued viability by continuing to waive Special Event fees associated with their operation.

Please contact Mayor Villaraigosa and your City Councilmember today to:

  • Tell them how much you value local Farmers’ Markets!
  • Tell them you are concerned about the City’s new Special Events Street Closure Fees Ordinance effect on Farmers’ Markets.
  • Given the vital role of Farmers’ Markets in Los Angeles as community centers and providing fresh local produce, urge the Mayor not to sign Ordinance 09-0600-S46. Urge your Councilmember to amend the ordinance so Farmers’ Markets are exempt from any new Special Event fees.

To view the Ordinance, visit http://cityclerk.lacity.org/lacityclerkconnect/index.cfm?fa=ccfi.viewrecord&cfnumber=09-0600-S46

To learn more, read the September 16 article on this issue by Los Angeles Times Farmers’ Market correspondent David Karp.
Contact information:

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa
(213) 978-0600
District 1 – Ed Reyes
City Hall Office (213) 473-7001

District 3 – Dennis P. Zine
City Hall Office (213) 473-7003

District 4 – Tom LaBonge
City Hall Office (213) 473-7004

District 5 – Paul Koretz
City Hall Office (213) 473-7005

District 6 – Tony Cardenas
City Hall Office (213) 473-7006

District 7 – Richard Alarcon
City Hall Office (213) 473-7007

District 8 – Bernard Parks
City Hall Office (213) 473-7008

District 9 – Jan Perry
City Hall Office (213) 473-7009

District 10 – Herb J. Wesson, Jr.
City Hall Office (213) 473-7010

District 11 – Bill Rosendahl
City Hall Office (213) 473-7011

District 12 – Greig Smith
City Hall Office (213) 473-7012

District 13 – Eric Garcetti
City Hall Office (213) 473-7013

District 14 – Jose Huizar
City Hall Office (213) 473-7014

District 15 – Janice Hahn
City Hall Office (213) 473-7015