An out-of-town consultant and national expert in farmers’ markets recommended Monday that the Overland Park Farmers’ Market move to the nearby Santa Fe Commons Park.
But residents at a community forum swiftly reacted, mostly negatively, to that idea.
“I think it would be a crying shame to move it out of downtown Overland Park,” Cyndy Crimmins O’Rourke of Lenexa said in endorsing the existing market site at 7950 Marty St. “I think it would be horrible to move it from that location.”
O’Rourke and others said the current market helps sustain the downtown merchants. Many at the forum favored some type of improvements where it is. They questioned how the market would change the park’s character, and how the park would provide sufficient market parking.
Doug Johnson, a manager with the city’s planning and development department, hastened to assure the crowd of about 60 people that no decisions have been made and that four key options identified by the Portland, Maine-based Market Ventures consulting firm are still on the table.
Those options range from modest maintenance upgrades at the existing market, to completely rebuilding on the current site, to constructing a new facility at the park about two blocks south of the current location.
Johnson said the city wanted consultant Ted Spitzer’s top recommendation, which is the park site.