The Lawrence Farmers Market will have a new Saturday home beginning in 2006, but it is not the home they once thought.
City commissioners Tuesday evening unanimously agreed to allow the farmers market to move into a city parking lot in the 800 block of New Hampshire Street. But instead of approving a request to allow the market to move into a 86-stall, two-hour parking lot on the west side of New Hampshire Street, commissioners directed the market to move into the 102-space, long-term parking lot on the east side of New Hampshire. Commissioners said moving into the eastern lot would leave the more prime parking spaces in the western lot available for downtown shoppers.
The move only will affect the market's Saturday operations, and won't happen until the market's 2006 season, which will begin in May. The market's Tuesday and Thursday sessions will remain in the 1000 block of Vermont Street.
Market organizers said they were pleased with the city commission's suggestion because it will give them even more room to expand their Saturday market. They also said they expected the move to be temporary until a permanent location could be found that could provide covered stalls and bathroom facilities.
The market had proposed moving to the long-term lot several years ago, but met resistance from area businesses. But City Commissioner Mike Amyx said he had met with businesses who said they did not oppose this proposal because the long-term lot was primarily used during the weekdays.