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Hollywood farmers market to stay open as negotiations continue

April 5, 2011 |  8:26 am

Click through for more information on the Hollywood Farmers Market in The Times' guide to Southern California farmers markets.City officials say the Hollywood farmers market will continue to operate while its organizers negotiate a possible compromise with the adjacent Los Angeles Film School, even if an agreement isn't reached by the April 12 deadline.

"The city is committed to the farmers market remaining open until a final plan is developed," said Yusef Robb, a spokesman for City Councilman Eric Garcetti, whose staff has been mediating a dispute between the market and the school since December.

DATABASE: Explore your local farmers markets

Pompea Smith, who heads the nonprofit group that organizes the market, said she had asked the city for a six-month extension of the deadline but had not heard whether it would be granted.

Robb would not comment on specifics of any extension.

The popular market has long closed off a two-block stretch of Ivar Avenue to traffic on Sunday mornings. But about four months ago the city denied the market a permit for one of those blocks — in part because film school officials complained that the market cut off access to a garage entrance.

Garcetti helped market officials win a 90-day extension of their street-closure permit and organized twice-monthly meetings between the feuding parties in a push to resolve the dispute before the permit expires this month.

In the beginning, market organizers promised to study potential adjustments to its footprint, including alternative market layouts on adjacent streets. Film school administrators said they would review the feasibility of joining the parking garage that is blocked by the market with another parking structure to resolve the access problem.

But compromise has been elusive.

Negotiations were complicated in January, when a film school official revealed plans for a large classroom building at Ivar and Selma avenues at a meeting with the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce.

Albert Villalta, a spokesman for the film school, said he was confident that the negotiations would be fruitful.

"I can't speak to what the outcome will be after the deadline since we haven't met in quite some time, but we are fully confident that the process will yield a positive long-term solution and allow us to move forward with full use of our facility."

RELATED:

Hollywood farmers market warns vendors they may have to demonstrate

-- Kate Linthicum

Image: Map shows location of Hollywood farmers market. Credit: Los Angeles Times

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