The Town Council is set to talk Tuesday about whether to modify the permit conditions for Danville's certified farmers market in light of the drought, downtown parking availability, vendor participation and other considerations.
The town-issued operating agreement and associated encroachment permit for the Pacific Coast Farmers' Market Association certified market in the Railroad Avenue municipal parking lot is reviewed every three years and is due for reconsideration in March, according to Danville town staff.
The statewide drought has affected area farmers and their ability to take part in local markets, forcing market operators to "take remedial actions that have resulted in the less variety at local farmers markets and a narrower time window within which certain vendors can participate," Jill Bergman, town economic development manager, wrote in a staff report to the council.
Bergman is set to lead a discussion Tuesday morning to gauge council members' thoughts on potential permit modifications during a study session, with no formal action to be taken.
The Pacific Coast association -- which has operated the Saturday morning market in Danville since 1990 -- is asking the council whether its new agreement could allow more non-agricultural vendors during drought times or scale back the size of the market during the winter, Bergman said.
Currently, non-agricultural vendors are limited to 25% of all participating vendors from May to September and 35% from October to April, according to Bergman. The ag/non-ag ratio is calculated based on the number of booths used by individual farms, rather than a straight vendor count.
"The limitation was intended to ensure that the (market) would not adversely affect brick-and-mortar Danville retailers and businesses who have overhead costs in the form of rent and other expenses and who contribute local sales tax revenues back to the community," she added.
The drought has made it difficult for the association to field enough agricultural vendors to meet the required ratio, Bergman said. The association has not indicated how much it would like to increase the non-ag allowance, she added.
Another consideration for town officials is downtown parking availability.
Bergman notes the town's parking study research shows that farmers market patrons take up a majority of parking spots in the Railroad Avenue and Clocktower municipal lots, impacting the amount of public parking available throughout downtown on Saturdays.
"The combined success of downtown redevelopment efforts and operation of the (certified farmers market) over the past 25 years will require an ongoing effort to balance needs related to simultaneously accommodating peak parking demands and hosting the (market)," Bergman said.
The farmers market discussion leads the council study session, set to start at 9 a.m. Tuesday in the Town Meeting Hall, 201 Front St.
In other business
* The council members will discuss the process for updating the town's investment policy.
* They will also consider sample Arts District banners and review the parks, recreation and arts strategic plan update.