Some concerns raised over proposed Rancho Santa Fe farmers market


By Karen Billing

The proposal for a weekly farmers market in the Rancho Santa Fe Village on Saturday mornings met its first resistance during public comment period of the Nov. 15 RSF Association meeting. Some Covenant residents are unsure of the market due to issues with parking and necessity.

The proposed market would run on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on El Tordo, between Avenida de Acacias and La Granada. Director Eamon Callahan said the market could be a way to potentially boost business for village merchants.

Jim Simpson, who lives in the village on El Tordo, said his major concern is for residents like him who live on the streets that will be impacted by the market. He said five days a week parking is an issue for them as full-time workers use the streets to park.

“At least on the weekends we have some relief,” said Simpson. “I just hope that staff and the board consider other locations; I think there’s places it could go with less of an impact.”

Simpson proposed the possibility of Avenida de Acacias across from the park or in the Association parking lot, which is rarely used on the weekends.

Resident Rory Kendall said he wondered who the customers and vendors were going to be.

“It seems like it’s just bringing outside people into the community and I’m not sure that’s what Rancho Santa Fe is all about,” Kendall said. “Is there really a need for this?”

He said that the produce at grocery stores like Ralph’s or the Village Market is terrific, and Chino Farm is also available. He said he isn’t sure it is worth creating parking issues or bringing people from outside the community in just to sell some coffee or flowers.

The farmers market plans are still tentative and nothing has been approved by the Association yet.

“If it isn’t fun for the local residents, we’re not going there,” said board vice president Anne Feighner. “We’re looking for just these kind of comments.”

Feighner encouraged Kendall and Simpson to express their concerns in writing, as well as anyone else who might have input on the market.