On Thursday November 30th, Malibu Daily News and The Local Malibu posted a letter from the LA County Health Department notifying Debra Bianco of the Malibu Farmer’s Market that they will not renew the permits of her vendors based on the City’s notification that the MFM was operating in an unauthorized location, effectively attempting to shut the market down indefinitely.
The letter from the Health Department was the latest in a series of letters as a result of the City’s efforts to permanently shut down the market, spearheaded by council member Paul Grisanti and supported by council members Marianne Riggins and Doug Stewart.
As a result of the health department letter posted on social media naming Grisanti as the city official behind the MFM attempted shutdown, residents contacted him and received this reply:
“When the City bought the property that became Legacy Park we got it for less than market value because the Seller recorded a deed restriction which forbade more than 6 commercial events per year and specifically forbade a Farmers Market. The city got the beneficiaries of the Deed restriction to look the other way for 9 Months. Deborah moved in after promising to move back when the construction was completed at the college. She is now squatting.”
Grisanti’s response was a complete fabrication as there are no deed restrictions that apply to the MFM.
The outrage expressed by the community after seeing the Health Department letter resulted in an emergency meeting called by City Manager Steve McClary, Deputy City Manager Alexis Brown and City Attorney Trevor Rusin who asked to meet exclusively with Malibu Mayor Steve Uhring.
The outcome of that meeting was fruitful for the Malibu Farmer’s Market.
The pressure applied by residents has forced the hand of the City to continue to allow the MFM to continue at Legacy Park until a permanent solution can be agreed upon.
The City will focus their efforts on negotiating to keep the MFM at Legacy Park and have already discussed other options including closing down Civic Center Way. Multiple properties have also been named as possibilities for a permanent home for the MFM.
The market will be open this weekend.