Chico Farmersâ?? Market initiative to be filed at City Hall

Jan 29, 2014 7:59 PM

Friends of the Farmers Market and others associated with the organization will file an initiative at the clerk’s office at City Hall tomorrow morning in an effort to keep the Saturday Downtown Farmer’s Market in its current location for the next eight years.

“The Chico Downtown Farmers’ Market has thrived at 2nd and Wall Streets for 21 years,” said Friends of the Farmers’ Market spokesperson Cheryl King. “The 80 small businesses that built this market attract 12,000 shoppers every month, many of whom also shop downtown. We ask the voters to allow the market the opportunity to improve and expand”.

Over the last few years, those associated with the Saturday Farmers’ Market and the City of Chico have been in a tug-of-war over the location of the market. The City recently declined to renew the market’s lease, leaving the future location up in the air once the market’s current lease expires on December 1, 2014.

The initiative, if qualified in time for the November 4 ballot, will raise the question of the market’s renewal every eight years instead of every other year. After eight years, the question of renewal will be placed upon the voters, not the city. The initiative will also reportedly pay for semi-permanent restrooms, grant market officials more control over the lot to control traffic, and increase vendor fees which will be paid to the City.

After the initiative is filed with the City, supporters estimate they will be able to circulate petitions in about a month. They City Attorney will have 15 days to prepare a title and summary, after which proponents will then publish a legal notice which will be circulated ten days after publication. In order to qualify the initiative for the November 4 ballot, backers will need 10% of city registered voters to sign the petitions, estimated at roughly 4,750 signatures.

The complete text of the initiative can be found at


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