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Lot 4 - Farmer's Market & Plaza

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Open spaces within downtown Santa Cruz should have value and meaning; they should be carefully located where people want to be and in locations that take advantage of the unique resources, heritage, and traditions of the community.” - City of Santa Cruz Downtown Plan, 2030


It has been the city’s goal to provide common spaces for the community downtown, with open green areas, safe streets, and fresh air.  The Santa Cruz 2030 Downtown Plan lists the need for “A strong
network of public and private open spaces (streets, sidewalks, public parks, plazas, passageways and courtyards) that creates a socially active and pedestrian-oriented downtown.”
Then why build a tall, enclosed mixed-use building with a parking garage on the last of the city’s larger, sunny lots, when we have plenty of parking already? 
BREAKING NEWS!  The Farmers' Market signed an MOU (memorandum of understanding) with the City in October.  Through their negotiations, the Market Board ensured that Lot 4 — their current home — was included!  They also made sure that the funds promised to them by the City for a long time ($1.755 million) for permanent infrastructure, is NOT tied to them moving to Lot 7.  This means they will help facilitate a public plaza on Lot 4 if we pass Measure O.
Opposition to Measure O has many claims about the Farmers' Market.  We provide the facts and answers to questions you may have.  Check out our Fact Check page here:

The Farmers' Market

Lot 4 has been hosting the downtown Farmers' Market that our community has known and loved since the 90's.  Much of our town has a relationship with this tradition.  We have met there, supporting our local farmers and vendors.  We can count on it - rain or shine.. or smoke in the air.  It provides a value beyond our shopping; it provides a sense of place.  
Measure O provides a permanent facility for this market at the location where we have all enjoyed it for decades, providing security for the market and retaining a sense of place for our community. 
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A Public Plaza or Town Square

We believe that this is the place where we should create our town square - our public plaza.  
It is the most sunny and central location where this can happen that could serve as the closest open green space for our ever increasing population downtown. We need to ensure we provide a healthy living environment for both our existing and future residents.

This includes physical health and mental health. Accessible space to move and air to breathe are important for the densest area of our community.  We need this public space for the good times so we may gather for mingling and celebration with music and events.  

We also need this for the bad times, during pandemics, when it is so important to be able to access the outdoors with enough open space to be safe.
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Keeping the Market at Lot 4 would also save 10 beautiful heritage trees, integral air-scrubbers and the perfect established roots for a community green space.

The City and Farmers' Market signed an MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) on October 14th.  The Farmers' Market will have improvements to Lot 4 and permanent infrastructure if Measure O passes.
We can help to build with foresight for a healthy community while we build to accommodate the future density coming to our city.  Together, we can help shape our future downtown to retain sense of place, enrich that sense of place, and make our space a healthy one for both our current and future neighbors.
Planning the Commons should include widespread community involvement to create a flexible
space serving multiple purposes – every day and evening, and on Farmers’ Market days. It should be an attractive and safe place for events, meeting with friends, reading under the trees, and taking part in activities such as yoga, dance and group exercise.  Thousands of cities throughout the world have a central town square where people meet and the more population a city has, the more important it is to have this space central, sunny, and where it will benefit the businesses and community the most.
Have questions about the Farmers' Market component of this initiative?
Jump to our Fact Check page on the Farmers' Market 
Jump to Farmers' Market FAQ
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