The Saturday Farmers’ Market Is Increasingly at Risk of Being Moved

The Santa Barbara Certified Farmers’ Market Association handed out a flyer today with an update on the increasingly likely construction of a new police station at 119 E. Cota (northwest corner of Santa Barbara St.), the location of its Saturday market for the last 35 years.

We have been informed that the Santa Barbara city staff has completed their assessment of potential police station sites and will officially be recommending the Cota Street Commuter Lot, home of our Saturday market, to council as their main option. A public meeting will be held at City Hall on Tuesday, September 17, at 2 p.m. (735 Anacapa). It is possible the City Council could make the determination at this meeting to initiate an environmental review for the Cota Lot, which would be a major step in moving the police station to this site, essentially sealing the decision. […] The September 17 meeting may be a final opportunity to address the council on the matter.

The Saturday market is extraordinary, a huge boon to the community, and I very much hope it stays where it is. That said, some of the SBCFMA’s decisions continue to baffle. To wit, the flyer never states what it’s asking of supporters: Are we supposed to show up at the meeting? Call city council members? Protest in front of city hall?

Moreover, there’s no mention of the petition for which it has been collecting signatures for weeks. (An online version eventually showed up.) Or that it’s also collecting email addresses via its website, which would be a far better way of mobilizing supporters than Facebook, Instagram, and flyers—if the SBCFMA ever actually sent out an email.