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New Downtown Art Walk Rules Raise Costs of Monthly Event

By Eric Richardson
Published: Thursday, September 08, 2011, at 02:42PM
August Downtown Art Walk Eric Richardson / blogdowntown

Pedestrians pass by the Medallion project, at 4th and Main, during the August Downtown Art Walk.

The city's task force is getting closer to finalizing a set of rules to govern vendors and food trucks at the Downtown Art Walk, but costs for the monthly event are rising in the process.

Councilmembers Jan Perry and Jose Huizar are splitting roughly $10,000 in non-LAPD city costs for the September Art Walk, but that won't continue indefinitely.

"We obviously can't continue to do that for each Art Walk," said Rick Coca, press deputy for Huizar's 14th district. Coca said that while the Council offices are paying the majority of the costs, he believes the Downtown Art Walk organization is contributing some funding. A call to Art Walk director Joe Moller was not immediately returned on Thursday afternoon.

A hastily-convened city task force drafted new rules that removed vendors and food trucks from the Art Walk core in time for the August event. Trucks instead found their way to 2nd and Main and 7th and Spring, leading to spread-out food traffic on typically-dead blocks.

Those rules, which forbid any "change of use" permits to be issued for parking lots on Spring or Main between 3rd and 7th, will stay in effect. Around them, the task force this month adds an additional "Art Walk Perimeter" bounded by 1st, San Pedro, Olympic and Hill. Inside the perimeter area three permits may be issued for each Art Walk, each allowing up to 15 vendors.

Those numbers are sure to create controversy. "It's defined because it has to be," said Coca. "We understand that some folks may want more and some folks may want less."

Art Walk Permitting Recommendations


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