It appears that the days of loosey-goosey event oversight in Discovery Bay from Contra Costa County are over as they will be watching this Sunday’s Farmers Market in Discovery Bay very closely. In a letter mailed out July 3 from the county, it advises the event organizers of requirements prior to the commencement of the event.
In a letter from Telma Moreira, Principal Planner from County Department of Conservation and Development, she advises that six (6) conditions must be followed while even bolding a few items which were add-ons into the requirements.
While we can only speculate why a revised letter had to be mailed so close to the event date (note: original letter was sent June 7), it could have been due to how organizers were promoting the event as stating there would be more vendors on hand that what was allowed under the permit process.
According to the clarified requirement No. 1:
The establishment of the farmer’s market located at 5879 Marina Rod, in the Discovery Bay area, is approved as shown on the plans submitted with the application, received by the Community Development Division on June 3, 2013. A total of 20 vendor stands that include produce and other farm-related food items is permitted. Non-food item (I.E. t-shirts, purses, etc.) are prohibited from being displayed or sold.
Meanwhile Jim Mattison and company are advertising it as something larger than allowed per the county permit. For example, Mr. Mattison, is advertising the event as 22+ vendors as of Wednesday via social media—however, the letter states they have only been approved for 20 vendors.
In another instance, Mr. Mattison was quoted in the Delta Sun Times stating another figure well above the 20 vendor threshold claiming 25-30 vendors.
“We expect 25-30 vendors to start with. This will not only bring the community together but also give all the shops at the Yacht harbor great exposure.”
Within the same bullet of the number of vendors is the types of vendors allowed under the permit where it states Non-food item (I.E. t-shirts, purses, etc.) are prohibited from being displayed or sold which removes many vendors who are being advertised to attend.
This would appear to remove many advertised vendors which include: Nyama Jewelry, Ma Petite Bakery, Heavenly Cheesecakes, Zapotec Native Art, Got A Party, and the Delta Valley Athletic Club who likely don’t meet the county requirements to participate with a station.
Continuing on from the Letter, the event is being advertised as “Every Sunday” as shown above. The county specifically mentions a time frame in its letter under Item 2:
The operation of the proposed farmer’s market shall be limited to Sundays, from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm only. Set up will be from 8:00 am to 9:00 am and take down from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm. Operation of the farmers market is only permitted from June 1 through Labor Day weekend.
While certainly there is a start and stop date due to weather, it says something when the county is forced to spell it out to event organizers who post the term “Every Sunday” on a flyer.
Other items which are shown in the letter below include the following:
- Signs May be installed on the premises of the farmers market locations(s) as long as sign(s) do not interfere with traffic and/or are not located within the intersections/sight of obstruction area. Signs shall be placed at the premises no earlier than 8:00 am and removed no later than 2:00 pm on Sundays
- No amplified or live music is permitted at the Farmers Market area at any time.
- The applicant shall be responsible for the pickup and proper disposal of trash, litter, garbage, originating from the farmers market no later than 2:00 pm on Sundays
- Any modifications to the proposed Farmers Market operation shall be submitted for review and approval by the Department of Conservation and Development, Community Development Division.
In closing they added an interesting line (bold) which is somewhat interesting as it states:
It’s the applicant’s responsibility to comply with the requirements of the Health Services Department-Environmental Health Division, the East Contra Costa County Fire Protection District, Contra Costa Sheriff’s Office, and requirements that may be applicable by the County Agricultural Commissioners and/or California Department of Food and Agriculture. Prior to the commencement of the farmers market, the applicant shall provide evidence to the Department of Conservation and Development, Community Development Division, that all of the requirements of the above agencies have been met.
The added line in bold is interesting and hints a county official may be on hand to either approve or shut down the event on the spot–or they county will be on hand for final approvals and at that time say “yes” or “no”.
With the recent outbreak of Hepatitis linked to frozen berries in May, this could be a precaution by the county to ensure public safety with produce. It also could be a case of the county trying to reign in Discovery Bay to begin following rules for their events after a 17-year old nearly drowned last weekend at the Paddle For Fame event.
Either way, the County is now watching and that is a great thing and creates a level playing field with other local Farmers Markets.
This letter confirms they are watching. Let’s hope the event organizers are paying attention so this event does not get shut down.
PDF of Letter Dated July 3, 2013: SConsrv_C4513070317380
By Michael Burkholder