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Friends of Chimborazo Park call for public meeting on proposed Farmers Market

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Vee 04/08/2014 at 12:54 PM

And so it has begun.


ray 04/08/2014 at 12:55 PM

Sounds like a very reasonable request.

Justin 04/08/2014 at 1:00 PM

Ugh. Please, just stop.

acg 04/08/2014 at 1:04 PM

This is a very well-written letter. Community events never succeed without community buy-in.

Alex 04/08/2014 at 1:41 PM

Mr. Clay, please take a deep breath. We really don’t need a second showing of “chicken little neighbors imagine worst case scenarios and stir up all kinds of shit eventually costing the neighborhood a chance for good thing.”

It’s been less than a year since the last running and the rest of Richmond was finally starting to forget how batshit crazy this neighborhood can get.

Alli Alligood 04/08/2014 at 2:25 PM

I was excited to learn of the proposed market, for several reasons, not the least of which is having something positive and engaging to make more use of this fantastic green space on our lovely hill. I am, however, surprised that the Friends of group wasn’t more involved before now — that just seems like an obvious step in the process. Hope it’s able to move forward — it would be great to have lots of folks come out and enjoy this space with neighbors and others from around the City.

Next Friend 04/08/2014 at 2:41 PM

I agree with Alli. This seems so positive. Chiborazo is an underused space. Here’s hoping the Friends group doesn’t let a percieved insult or oversight overtake wisdom.

Park everyone in area Church lots since the market day is not a church day.


Nick 04/08/2014 at 3:17 PM

While it’s nice that neighborhood groups want to be involved in the planning and execution of the market, the issues listed in the letter are a tad neurotic. Increased traffic, decreased parking availability, and trampled blades of grass are the natural outcomes of having well-attended events in the park.

Unless the Friends of Chimborazo park are capable of providing additional parking, widening the streets, or will suggest planting trample-resistant grass, there is nothing to say about parking, traffic, or grass damage other than: “Yep, it’ll be worse on those days.”

Bill2 04/08/2014 at 3:45 PM

A well written & reasonable request. However, don’t expect much from Dr. Newbille – public participation doesn’t seem to be her thing unless it’s in total agreement with her.

Justin 04/08/2014 at 3:54 PM

Serious question: who is even behind Friends of Chimborazo Park? Is there an online website or Facebook page for them? How would you even join this group if you wanted to?

Bill 3 04/08/2014 at 3:57 PM

This is why we can’t have nice things.

Alex 04/08/2014 at 4:04 PM

I’m all for open participation and citizen involvement when it makes sense but here’s the thing: there’s not much to discuss.

What do the folks behind this “call” honestly have to offer that a company that’s been hosting farmer’s markets for a while wouldn’t have thought of already? I think GrowRVA knows how to run a market in a public park by now and will be just fine without a bunch of two bit experts chiming in telling them not to litter.

This feels like someone just wants to feel valued and be asked to sit at the table even though they’re only going to be bringing obvious suggestions. There comes a time when citizen involvement is a waste because the project is in competent hands. This is one of those times.

Marshal and 2x 04/08/2014 at 4:11 PM

I love the idea of the market and believe it will be a huge success.

I also support the very reasonable idea that the community should be involved in anything of this scale being put in place, though.

Chimbo 04/08/2014 at 4:12 PM

My name and email are on the letter to Councilwoman Newbille and it has been posted on this website with every public announcement for the past 6 years. So,it is no mystery.

If the other parties involved agree to hold a meeting,I will be sure to post that information here too so anyone with interest can attend.

alixbryan 04/08/2014 at 4:46 PM

Not sure why it annoys me so much. I mean, it’s a fair request, but I can’t imagine this successful organization doing something WRONG. Also, it’s a farmer’s market. Good grief.
Maybe I just have a bad taste in my mouth after what happened with the micro-management of Captain Buzzy’s permit request.

Justin 04/08/2014 at 5:33 PM

@Chimbo/John – I get that your name is on the letter. But who are you speaking for? Where’s the information on the group itself? You say you represent a very involved group of neighbors. How many neighbors do you represent? You say you “quickly conducted a survey of park neighbors” – how many neighbors did you survey? How many total neighbors are to the park that you didn’t survey?

Alex 04/08/2014 at 6:25 PM

@15- bingo! I think this is relatively reasonable compared to the Buzzy’s mess but it just feels so unnecessary. The group organizing this event has done this before. They’re not planning on having a monster truck rally. If a few things are done less than ideally, pass along your feedback once you have some real complaints.

laura 04/08/2014 at 8:16 PM

Come on folks…take it easy on the Friends group. They have done quite a bit to improve the overall park and have embraced it. We should have more folks like these operating in the city. They’re not advocating nixing the market…they’re asking to have a seat at the table. What is so wrong with that? Especially a group that has embraced this park in the manner they have–have y’all seen some of the nice things they’ve done there? It’s a whole lot more than most of us have contributed. Neighbors taking ownership of these spaces is hugely important to the overall community and these folks have done good work. The market is a great idea…the Friends group is also awesome…we should be thanking them instead of throwing stones. Bring the groups together and have a great market on the hill…this will be great for the neighborhood. And, there’s tons of parking on all of the roads that run through the park. Wouldn’t it be great to see them packed once in a while?

craig 04/08/2014 at 8:17 PM

totally reasonable request…those in the direct vicinity should have some say, and the park doesn’t have parking for more than about 200 cars…so there needs to be some kind of planning…

hopefully this doesn’t turn into a “you can have a farmers market anywhere in church hill EXCEPT the park across my house” kinda thing.

Lucky Canine 04/08/2014 at 8:56 PM

‘Friends’ has done a great deal for Chimborazo and I commend them for their effort and work but, geez Louise, have you all attended one too many CHA meetings? Not everything new and different is bad. Why throw down right off the bat? Reach out to Grow RVA, express your as yet unrealized concerns – I am pretty darn sure they will listen and respond. Why fly this drama flag? Look at all the good that has come to Forest Hill Park from Grow RVA – that park is a hub of activity every Saturday morning. Why can’t we have that at Chimbo? Why can’t we have people come out here and enjoy Chimbo and spend some money in Church Hill? So damn frustrating.

clay st resident 04/09/2014 at 8:35 AM

I was thinking the same thing Lucky Canine. I agree that public participation is a good thing but this group seems to be trying to stir up a lot of attention for themselves instead of just simply reaching out to the right people- GrowRVA. Not solutions-oriented at all IMO.

Chimbo 04/09/2014 at 9:00 AM

Friends of Chimborazo Park made efforts to follow the proper channels and go through the parks department. These are the same same channels that we have gone through in the past to address all previous park issues. However, this time, we were directed by the parks department to contact Councilwoman Newbille. Since Ms. Newbille has never responded to any of our attempts to engage her, I chose to post this letter publically as well as email it to her and her staff privately.

And, I would like to restate the invitation for anyone concerned with this issue or other park issues to contact me directly and I will do my best to help you resolve it. I have provided email and telephone options and am working in the park in some capacity most saturdays.

Alex 04/09/2014 at 9:09 AM

@23 – have you tried just reaching out to GrowRVA? Ms. Newbille is just going to be a messenger anyway so it might be best to go around her.

crd 04/09/2014 at 9:38 AM

I think it’s a very reasonable request and well written letter, and this group has surely had a lot of input into the park so they deserve to have a seat at the table. I sympathize with Chimbo for having put all that time and effort into the park, and I wish you guys luck.

Darin 04/09/2014 at 10:50 AM

This whole drama is simple as this: At least ATTEMPT and keep the local people involved, so you have their SUPPORT.

Most things without local support fail. Local support is essential.

I’m sure a one hour, local meeting would not be that big of a burden to the organizers, considering the amount of effort and time going into this project.

End of story.

Justin 04/09/2014 at 11:03 AM

@26/Darin – and look how that turned out for Buzzy’s. The few attacked and hijacked that process. Maybe that’s why this letter is frustrating. Because we know what’s coming next.

mjn 04/09/2014 at 1:08 PM

wWen you pour your blood, sweat and tears as well as your heart, time and money into something, you want to make sure that it is respected and well-treated. Asking for a meeting with the organizers is not unreasonable. That is all I’m getting from this. The Friends just want to make sure their investment is looked after. If they just spent many hours and dollars reseeding an area that is beginning to sprout, they don’t want it trampled. The organizers would not know things like this unless they met with the Friends. I would hope the organizers would be respectful of this group that has taken “ownership” of beautifying the park in the absence of the City of Richmond doing the job they are supposed to be doing. I’m not seeing that the Friends are opposed to the event; they only want to ensure that their 6 years of contributions are not undone in a single summer of markets.

ray 04/09/2014 at 1:12 PM

No, Justin, you evidently don’t know what’s coming next. So let me fill you in as to how this thing will play out.

There will be a meeting or meetings (as should have happened previously) with representatives of Friends of Chimbo Park, GrowRVA, and city officials (though maybe not Cynthia Newbille).

People will express their concerns, work together like adults, and try to find concensus on the issues at hand.These meetings will result in good (not perfect!) outcomes.

And, come June, there will be a Farmer Markets at Chimbo.

End of story.

Darin 04/09/2014 at 3:00 PM

I don’t see how Buzzy’s and pot throwing has anything to do with this……. That had to do with some serious ego and anger problems. The most hostility I have seen in this is towards Friends of Chimbo. It was a well written letter, just asking to be included in something that they should be involved in!

Quantious 04/09/2014 at 3:18 PM

We are so excited for this farmers market. We used to have to drive to the one in forrest hill. I’ve never had one of the doughnuts everyone keeps raving about but am excited to try them!

Alex 04/09/2014 at 5:04 PM

If there’s no arguments to cancel the farmers market, I don’t think anyone has any beef with further discussion. My worry (and I think the worry of others) is that flat out NIMBYism often masquerades as we just want more comment period as a stall.

If this genuinely is just a simple “we want to help make sure it’s done right” I think most people are fine with it. It’s not surprising that folks are skeptical that it is that given the Buzzy’s fiasco. Might I suggest that instead of bringing the city into it (which smells like the beginnings of political maneuvering) it might be better to approach GrowRVA and offer to help?

Gene 04/10/2014 at 8:03 AM

I’m confused…How does this have anything at all to do with the Captain Buzzy’s SUP issue. Some folks here seem to be a little trigger happy.

Chimbo 04/10/2014 at 8:27 AM

I understand everyones concerns/skeptcism about Friends of Chimborazo Parks motivations, but honestly, there is not much more I can do to allay your fears.

Grow RVA and Council Newbille’s office both reached out to me yesterday and it does appear that there will be an opportunity for community input. I will use this forum to keep the neighborhood updated. Thanks for your support.

CH Resident 04/10/2014 at 8:40 AM

It is unfair to draw lines of similarity to Buzzy’s, (which is still in litigation).
However, the single most important lessons-learned from 95% of the Hill issues is/are – that early and honest communications helps avoid soooo many issues that morph & multiply during and after the event or circumstance.

jean mcdaniel 04/10/2014 at 8:41 AM

Well said! Those of us who understand what really happened to Buzzy’s will forever be prone to be suspect of “organized opposition” to any project.

Thank those responsibile in the CHA for this legacy. The CHA has yet to understand the long term damage they have done to this community and continues to do!

Gene 04/10/2014 at 9:47 AM

Well I guess that’s it. Jean and Alex have confirmed that all of these Friends of Chimborazo Park volunteers are CHA members and they know how each and every one of them voted on the Buzzy’s issue. No need for a trial…just convict ‘em all now. Having all of the answers all of the time has got to be tough for these neighborhood scolds.

crd 04/10/2014 at 10:04 AM

@34 Chimbo, that’s good news that they both reached out, best of luck with it.

jean mcdaniel 04/10/2014 at 3:52 PM

I in no way meant to suggest that your motivations were suspect and I support open communication with the neighbors. Anything less is an injustice to those of you who have worked hard to improve Chimborazo Park. Thank you for your efforts! Open communication was NOT a part of the Buzzy’s SUP fiasco!

37@ Gene
Please! Neither Alex nor I said ANYTHING about friends of Chimborazo Park being members of the CHA. Some may be but probably not since the CHA has made it clear numerous times that Chimborazo Park is not within their sphere of concern. Your snarky comment is just that!

James 04/14/2014 at 7:53 AM

Why is Chimborazo park not within their sphere of concern? They sure do hand out their CHA newsfliers around the park….

Neighbor 04/14/2014 at 7:40 PM

#29-Ray – Are you new?

Chimbo 05/12/2014 at 7:54 AM

Last thursday Councilwoman Newbille, Dr Merrifield with Parks and Rec, Lt Dan, a CHA Delegate and other concerned parties held a brief meeting about this. Together, we worked out some basic guidelines for the Farmers Market that should give them ample vendor space, adequate parking, and still protect our park. So now the next step is for GROW RVA to make this happen.

ray 05/12/2014 at 8:47 AM

#41-Neighbor —- see #42-Chimbo

Luv, #29-Ray

katzenjaammer 05/12/2014 at 7:40 PM

Any idea how many vendors we will have?

Chimbo 05/12/2014 at 11:23 PM

There is a lot of confusing information about the size of the market. I will pass this along as soon as I hear a reliable number.

Kathleen Sanders 05/13/2014 at 8:25 AM

I thought Grow RVA already said 30-40 vendors but no more than 40?


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