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Puesto, with its existing huge open-air dining structure on Wall Street, is where the La Jolla Village Merchants Association would like to set up a new Thursday night public market.

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A proposal by the La Jolla Village Merchants Association to explore starting a new Thursday night farmers market on Wall Street is likely to meet opposition from an existing community market, as well as some residents against it. commercial use of streets or the public right-of-way.

An attempt several years ago to establish a farmers market in Bird Rock near the Methodist Church at 6063 La Jolla Blvd. failed due to opposition from the existing La Jolla Farmers’ Market to La Jolla Primary School. Some residents of the nearby Bird Rock neighborhood, fearing possible parking and traffic problems associated with a new market, were also against the concept.

“Looking at where we were going with lost income and income that could be amplified, what really emerged is that almost every business district has a farmers market,” said Jodi Rudick, executive director of the Village Merchants Association to the District Business Improvement Board of Directors in June. 9. “We have a farmers market in La Jolla which is outside of our business district. A farmers market is a very easy and much anticipated way to energize a community. We would like to explore the possibility of doing a public market.

Rudick said the proposed public market would be qualitatively different from the current 23-year-old La Jolla Open Aire Farmer’s Market at La Jolla Primary School, which is held on Sundays at the corner of Rue Girard and the ‘avenue Genter from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

“We see this as a different experience with more of a street fair feel, which could benefit some of the 105 restaurants in La Jolla,” she said. “We would make Thursday the first night of a weekend in La Jolla. And income would not be the primary goal. The first objective would be to activate this village.

But some residents of the beach community, like Sally Miller, a member of La Jolla Parks and Beaches, Inc., have strongly opposed using sidewalks or the public right-of-way for anything other than parking and non-parking. commercial. . And that opposition includes the existing large open-air dining structure put in place by Restaurant Puesto on Wall Street, where the new Farmers’ Market is proposed to go.

“I think it’s an absolutely horrible idea to allow any private business to requisition our public lands to expand their private business to line their pockets with money at our expense,” Miller said, speaking in his speech. own name. “I find it very selfish and eager of restaurateurs to expand their business in our precious parking spaces all along Wall Street in the heart of downtown La Jolla.”

Miller added, “For a very long time we have limited the use of valet parking to two or four spaces so that we don’t lose public parking spaces. Also, after this year, there are plenty of empty retail spaces available downtown where they could move. Read my lips, if this project is allowed more restaurants will ask for the same in an absolute domino effect taking our very precious public spaces that we have fought to keep free for the public. ”

Sherry Ahern, who led the creation of the existing La Jolla Farmers’ Market, said the latest proposal underestimates the difficulties of creating two viable farmers or public markets in the same area.

“For the record, there is usually only one farmers market per region,” Ahern said, adding that their market is a fundraiser “where we give all our money to the children of La Jolla primary school. and other schools for their teachers and programs. “

Ahern foresees a host of problems in trying to turn Wall Street into a viable public market.

“Are you going to shut down Wall Street and put vendors from other neighborhoods on this street when they want to get people into this neighborhood and get into the stores?” ” she asked. “It’s counterintuitive. Would you put food vendors in front of Puesto? “

LJVMA’s Rudick said the long-running Ocean Beach Wednesday Night Farmers’ Market was the model that a new La Jolla public market would emulate. She said the idea would be to create a new outdoor shopping experience that would attract shoppers.

“We cannot compete with Amazon when it comes to buying a product,” she said. “But what Amazon can’t touch is our ability to deliver an experience. So we want to look at these opportunities to create experiences that even Amazon can’t touch. So the kind of market we would look at would not be just for production. It would be artisans and crafts, maybe demonstrations like cooking, and also entertainment.

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