The Portola Valley Town Council agreed Wednesday night that the new farmers' market at Town Center could continue to operate for another year, but did not agree that food trucks could be part of the weekly event.
As it agreed to do in April, the Town Council reviewed the market after a six-week trial. A staff report by Brandi de Garmeaux, the town's sustainability coordinator, documented the town's warm welcome to the market since its debut on June 13, and the council agreed to Ms. de Garmeaux's proposal to extend the market's permission to operate for another year.
But although Ms. de Garmeaux, with strong support from Councilwoman Maryann Derwin, argued for including food trucks -- so as to make dinner an easier and more sociable matter for families coming to the market -- the council deferred to concerns by local merchants and rejected the idea.
Instead, the council asked Town Manager Nick Pegueros to look for other events -- star-gazing parties and model aircraft "flight nights," for example -- as possible venues for including food trucks. Mr. Pegueros will be reporting back to the council on Aug. 28 with his findings.
Management at Roberts Market and the Portola Cafe Deli, both located about a mile and a half away, expressed opposition to food trucks, Ms. de Garmeaux told the council. Concerns from local businesses received some support from the audience and council members. One audience member reminded the room of the years that Portola Valley was without a grocery store.
Another option that Mr. Pegueros will be investigating: whether to extend the market operations through the winter months. The continuity of a year-long operation is important to the vendors, Ms. de Garmeaux said.
It was coincidental that food trucks were in the vicinity of Portola Valley Town Center for two recent Thursday afternoon farmers' markets. They were there in connection with a free Thursday evening summer concert. And they're likely to be around for another concert in late August.