Search continues for new peak summer location for Tahoe City Farmers Market | SierraSun.com

Search continues for new peak summer location for Tahoe City Farmers Market

Jenell Schwab
Sierra Sun

TAHOE CITY, Calif. and#8212; The search for a new site to host the farmers market in Tahoe City is making progress.

Carol Arnold, executive director of the Foothills Farmers Market Association, stood before the Tahoe City Public Utilities District board of directors on Friday morning to request the market be allowed to use Commons Beach during this yearand#8217;s shoulder seasons.

Following a short discussion, the board voted 4-1 to allow the request. Erik Henrikson was the lone dissenter, saying the market diverts traffic into Tahoe City and revenue to out-of-the-area merchants.

Despite the vote, the market association continues to search for a new location to use for the peak season this year and beyond.

The decision to move the market was made in the spring of 2011, and the option of using Commons Beach during the peak season this summer was taken off the table last month when the PUD board OKand#8217;d a motion disallowing the location.

The board cited a lack of cooperation on the part of the market association in exploring the possible sites.

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and#8220;It isnand#8217;t that we werenand#8217;t doing our due diligence,and#8221; Arnold said Friday. and#8220;We found out in January that 64 Acres was not available.and#8221;

Arnold also took the opportunity Friday to discuss why other suggested locations would not work.

Dollar Hill is fenced and up for sale, and Corpus Christi Church in Sunnyside, she said, has a sloping parking lot and limited on-site parking. The church also presents safety issues because bike, pedestrian and vehicular traffic would intermingle at the location.

Arnold also explained why a night-time market will not work for the farmers she represents.

and#8220;In Truckee, our farmers go to the market and sell what they have left over,and#8221; she said. and#8220;They go because they had a successful market in the morning, and Truckee is on their way home. That is typically what happens at night.and#8221;

The market association is currently exploring the Tahoe Lake Elementary School and Boatworks Mall parking lots as possible peak locations.

Tahoe Lake Elementary School Principal Stephanie Foucek said the market is welcome at the school, where parking is plentiful and public restroom facilities maintained by TCPUD are available. Foucek said she would like to possibly tie in a summer literacy program with the market.

Over at Boatworks, merchants are also receptive.

and#8220;We welcome the market here and weand#8217;d like to have them,and#8221; said Carol Hester, owner of Geared for Games. and#8220;If itand#8217;s what the people at the farmers market want, then away weand#8217;d go.and#8221;

The enthusiasm was echoed by Rylan Cordova, who spoke for Jakeand#8217;s on the Lake.

and#8220;This is a pretty cool spot for a farmers market,and#8221; said Cordova. and#8220;Weand#8217;ve got the great lake atmosphere and itand#8217;s only a five-minute walk to Commons Beach.and#8221;

Although Cordova and Hester highlighted advantages of the site, such as its accessibility by car, bike and boat, itand#8217;s not without challenges, as relocating the market to Boatworks would require the cooperation of many parties.

And time is running short. Whichever location is decided on, the farmers market would need to request a permit from Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, a process that takes both time and money.

Supporters, however, say they are concentrating on the end goal.

and#8220;We just wanted to express our interest in helping the farmers market finding a new place,and#8221; Cordova said. and#8220;We will have a farmers market in Tahoe City and#8212; that is the most important thing.and#8221;