A farmer’s market won’t take root in Bay Ridge because a church isn’t willing to sacrifice its parking lot.
Neighbors and elected officials had hoped to bring fresh fruit and vegetable venders to the lot behind Our Lady of the Angels church on Fourth Avenue at 74th Street — but the house of worship nixed the proposal after a town hall meeting earlier this month.
This being Bay Ridge, the issue was parking.
“What would I do if a prominent member of my church had a funeral and I had to tell my congregation that no one would have a place to park?” said Father James Devlin.
The church’s veto puts the proposed Bay Ridge farmer’s market on ice until planners can find another site.
“Neighbors didn’t want to deal with the perceived traffic, the perceived noise, and the perceived disruption to their quality of life,” said Greenmarket Director Michael Hurwitz, who oversees the city’s 46 farmer’s markets — nine of which are in Brooklyn. “Now we have to go back to the drawing board to find a new location.”
But the farmer’s market most-vocal supporter, Councilman Vince Gentile (D–Bay Ridge), isn’t ready to give up on the 74th Street lot just yet.
“We’re gathering more data on resident support for the farmer’s market in that location,” said Kwame Patterson, a spokesman for Gentile. “People who live on the block really want the market. They’re putting together petitions.”
But for every supporter of the proposed fruit and vegetable market, there’s a neighbor who thinks the whole plan is rotten to the core.
“It’ll be a zoo out here on the weekends,” said Rosie O’Morrow, 68. “This is a pretty quiet neighborhood, and I like it that way. They can easily put a farmers market somewhere else.”
— with Emily Lavin