VIRGINIA BEACH — The City Council delayed voting on an ordinance Tuesday that would allow the city to relocate the Old Beach Farmers Market.
City Councilman John Uhrin, who represents the Oceanfront, asked the vote to be deferred to allow the market’s organizers more time to examine the proposal, which would allow the outdoor market to be moved to 18th Street — one block from its longtime home on 19th Street.
“There’s no problem with it,” Uhrin said of the ordinance. “I think it will come back just as it is.”
Uhrin later said another reason for the delay is because the City Council’s agenda made it appear the vote was directly on relocating the market.
“That is not the case,” he said.
The ordinance extends agreements between market organizers and the city that allow the market to operate on many Saturdays at 19th Street through 2017. It includes two one-year extension options and gives the city the right to move the market to the 600 block of 18th Street at any time and for any reason as long as there is a written notice delivered to organizers at least 10 days in advance.
That provision is included because city staff are considering the relocation to reduce traffic around 19th Street at the Virginia Beach Convention Center, the ordinance reads.
Uhrin said he expects the City Council to take the ordinance up at its May 3 meeting.
Volunteers operate the market on most Saturdays throughout the year in the parking lot of Croc’s 19th Street Bistro. That location requires the city to close 19th Street between Cypress and Pacific avenues while locals are selling produce, meat and other items.
Resort Administrator Mike Eason recently called 19th Street, also home to the Virginia Beach Convention Center, a major thoroughfare.
It’s also one that could see increased traffic as developers build an 18,000-seat arena nearby.
Have a story idea or news tip? Contact City Hall reporter Judah Taylor at Judah@wydaily.com or 757-490-2750.
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