SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The highly debated relocation of the Saturday Farmers' Market in Santa Barbara to make room for a new police station headquarters appears to no longer be in dispute.
The city and the market staff are preparing for changes in one year from now.
Speaking to the Santa Barbara City Council recently, Transportation Planner Jessica Grant said, "for them to be operational the month right now is anticipated to be February 2023. It is still going through the permitting process."
Grant said, there's a lot of work to move the market and the city is collaborating on the layout and permits, along with traffic flow issues.
Discussions have been going on for months on where to build a new police command center, and design drawings have been presented to city officials only focused on the current parking lot on Cota St. at Santa Barbara St.
"The projected timeline will be somewhere around February of 2023, of course there's nothing set in stone," said Farmers' Market General Manager, Sam Edelman.
Grant said it will not be a quick move, that's why the advanced notice and planning is vital. "In order to establish their home in a city right of way, there's infrastructure that needs to happen ahead of the market. For example tomorrow it couldn't just set up there," said Grant.
The market says the site is large enough and spacious enough for the sellers, their trucks and the public. "We have our sights set on what we are calling the Carrillo site. Carrillo St. between Anacapa and Chapala and crossing with State St.," said Edelman. "Those plans are in the works and a lot of details to iron out before we get to that point."
He sees it as a boost for businesses in the area.
"We obviously bring 3000 to 5000 people to our Saturday market every week," said Edelman. "Those people will then be spilling into downtown and those people will be mutually beneficial for all parties involved especially the downtown businesses and the State St. promenade."
Edelman already operates a market on Tuesdays in downtown. It is on State Street spaced out over four blocks.
He said, "I am a big fan of the promenade remaining closed to traffic I think it has worked out really really well."