UPDATE: Crisis Averted. Mount Pleasant Farmers Market Meeting Tonight – “The future of the popular Mount Pleasant Farmer’s Market may be in trouble”


“Dear PoPville,

Would you please post a reminder about tonight’s ANC meeting regarding the Mount Pleasant Farmers Market?

The information is from the ANC’s website and longtime ANC member, Jack McKay’s monthly newsletter:

Mount Pleasant ANC Meeting Tonight Re Future of Farmers Market

The future of the popular Mount Pleasant Farmer’s Market may be in trouble. In the past, the approval process was easy for the Farmers’ Market. The ANC Commissioners did not object to the weekly event, and sent an annual approval letter to the Market’s representative without requiring a sponsor to attend an ANC meeting to present a case for why it would not be a disturbance to the neighborhood.

However, this year, three commissioners – Arturo, Rosa, and Franko – objected to sending a letter of approval to the Market. These commissioners want the sponsor to come appear at the Tuesday, March 24 ANC meeting to answer questions about its operations and value to the neighborhood.

It’s a mistake for the ANC to even appear to be obstructing the Farmers’ Market. The Market has been running for 11 years and is one of the best events in the neighborhood.

If you want to show your support for the Farmers’ Market and other events/businesses that will improve Mount Pleasant please attend tonight’s ANC Meeting.

Tuesday, March 24
7:00pm, Mount Pleasant Library, 16th & Lamont Street NW

30 Comment

  • We’re going. And hoping they’ll deal with this first and be quick. What a dumbass way to try yo make a name for yourself in local politics.

  • I think the letter was sent, if you look at the ANC1D google group. The whole thing is super ridiculous, and I hope those three commissioners are ashamed of themselves.

  • This is what one commissioner (Adam) posted. They still made the promoters have a meeting with them, but did it away from the public. I am glad there are at least a couple of adults on the commission.

    ANC 1D Commissioners, Mount Pleasant Residents & Stakeholders,

    A group of commissioners from ANC 1D (Frank Agbro, Rosa Rivas, Arturo Griffiths) met with Mount Pleasant Farmers’ Market owner Robert Frazier and Commissioner Adam Hoey on Sunday afternoon to discuss their concerns and learn more about the market as it seeks to renew its DPR permit for Lamont Park for the 2015 season now in its 12th year.

    For the last several years, ANC 1D in cooperation with DPR, has required an initial review of permit applications before they are formally approved and granted by DPR. This process generally involves a submission of a DPR permit application followed by a separate letter sent to the ANC 1D email group for review by all commissioners. If there is no objection then the permit is approved and sent to DPR. In some unique cases (ex. a festival), a group may come before the ANC to present its event plan which addresses DPR/ANC guidelines and neighborhood impacts.

    Over the last 2 weeks we’ve encountered a mix of valid concerns, misinformation, debate over process and poor communication regarding this permit renewal process. I’m pleased to announce that with some constructive face-to-face dialog, the permit is now unanimously approved by ANC 1D commissioners.

    The discussion include the following topics:

    1. Inclusiveness and support for Mount Pleasant’s Latin American and African American communities as well as other cultures and minority groups at the Farmers’ Market

    This includes making minorities and people from diverse backgrounds feel more welcome to shop in the market by providing language support and other assistance especially in Spanish. Some members of the community have had difficulty shopping with some vendors. The market currently has some bilingual vendors staff but additional materials could be provided with translations of produce, baked goods and other items names.

    2. Realization of the mission of the Farmers’ Market, what is is and the future potential for other markets in the neighborhood

    While some neighborhoods have large community markets, this market has traditionally been a farmer’s market focused on fresh, locally grown produce from local area farmers occupying a small space in Lamont Park. Some have expressed interest in other types of markets and goods which could be purchased from our local businesses or from a new separate market.

    3. A review of the ANC 1D DPR permit process

    This includes ensuring that the ANC permit approval process is clear, consistent, fair and transparent and that new commissioners are educated on this process. Specifically ANC 1D will work to further clarify when groups should appear in person before the ANC at a business meeting or informal meeting and when a simple letter is sufficient.

    Overall, ANC 1D will continue to work in 2015 to improve its communications and outreach to our diverse Mount Pleasant community including sharing available resources and reporting progress on these topics. As a best practice commissioners have also agreed on the importance of face-to-face dialog and informal meetings when discussing complex topics instead of relaying on email.

    Kind regards,

    Adam Hoey & ANC 1D Commissioners

    • So they made the promoters meet with the ANC — is that some sort of injustice? I mean, it seems like a basic tenet of business: if you’re going to use public space, expect to meet with the local politicos! Meeting held, problem solved – voila.

      I don’t know why a little confusion led to this hysteria, but I suppose it is good for the page views.

      • Yeah, I have to say that from a distance of a couple miles this seems like a lot of craziness over a simple and understandable (if rarely exercised) order of business.

  • Jack’s letter was dated March 15th, since then the ANC has unanimously agreed to provide a letter to DPR in support of the Mt Pleasant Farmer’s Market.
    Per the ANC google group, the letter of support was sent to DPR yesterday.

  • this is a done issue. The letter has been sent thanks to Adam Hoey for organizing a meeting over the weekend!!

    Arturo, Rosa, and Frank should be ashamed of themselves for the negative press and short sightedness they displayed. The ANC does not control how the market should be run. If they were so eager to make changes they should have offered their services (and zero experience) to volunteer at farmers market. Instead they tried to flex their political muscle.

  • No wonder no one will open a decent business in our neighborhood. Not inclusive enough? It’s a Farmer’s Market, everyone is welcome to come and shop. Yes, there are language barriers, but I’m sure the vendors do their best to include everyone because they all want to make sales. Does any other ANC in the city call a Farmer’s Market to the carpet for this?

    • No decent businesses have opened in the past few years, except for Beau Thai, Zabver, Each Peach, Flying Fish, and counting this in advance of visiting — Purple Patch.

      • I just don’t see other neighborhoods with empty, fully built out space that wait so long for anything of quality. Flying Fish has been there a while, so I don’t count that. And, in my opinion, Zabver was a serious step down from its predecessor, even if they did spruce up the looks.

        Heller’s is empty, the space where Subway was going appears to be empty, Tonic stayed empty for months and months. It just seems that things are mostly stale and the way to get more businesses in is not by making them feel that the ANC is hostile.

        • You have very high standards. Tonic’s space was empty for less than six months. Heller’s has only been closed for a few months. It takes a minute to completely close down a business and reopen a new one with entirely new owners. It doesn’t happen in two months. And you may think Zabver’s food isn’t as good as Adam Express, but how is the business any worse? They’ve been good corporate neighbors as far as I’ve seen, and they generate decent business. The Chinatown/Penn Quarter areas–a hot spot for new restaurants–have plenty of empty, built-out spaces. Some of which have been empty for many years and are next door to thriving business and restaurants.

        • “I just don’t see other neighborhoods with empty, fully built out space that wait so long for anything of quality.”

          You should come visit Park View/Petworth.

        • For me, Zabver is a real step up from Adams Express. It also looks like work is taking place in the former Sun/soon to be Subway space

          • While we are at it, why stop with the vacant businesses?

            Tex-Mex Burrito – Generally off-putting looks. I understand the lady in there is trying to make a living but the place does not even have a decent sign outside explaining what the place is. I mean, business 101 HELLO?

            Shoe Repair on the corner – OK So I’ve seen people going in and out of this place late at night on Saturday and Sunday….hmmm seems a little odd timing to get your wingtips re-soled.

            Angelico Pizza – Meh.

            BestWorld – Shut down recently for health code violations and the next shut down can’t be far off.

            There are like 17 places to get your hair cut or do laundry in Mt. P. not sure what’s up with it but not sure any other neighborhood in DC can boast that!

            Sportsmans Liquors – Have you ever noticed the prices at Iriving Wine and Spirits are like $5 less on EVERYTHING?

            Lia Cafe – Little Brazilian cafe place closed down without much fanfare.

            Ercillias – Good food but you can watch the seasons change out the window in the time it takes your pupusas come out of the kitchen.

        • I was just thinking how much better Mt. P is doing in this regard compared to Adams Morgan, with a dozen empty spaces

    • But I only speak Spanish! How am I supposed to know what a tomato is or what those numbers mean??

  • In other news … tonight’s ANC meeting will be conducted in Spanish.

    • Well, sort of. Frank Agbro will be absent, so Rosa Rivas, vice chair, will preside. I’ve invited her to do it in Spanish, and we anglophones will just have to do our best to follow along.

  • Yes the 3 ANC members are just horrible little children they should be impeached!

  • Why try to block something you claim should be improved? No argument with being more inclusive, but by going oppositional instead of working with the market organizers first, you blew it. Good luck getting reelected.

    • PDleftMtP

      Seriously. My guy (Arturo) was elected by 21 votes and blew off a polite e-mail expressing concern about this. If he thinks getting to feel important is a bigger priority than responding to the people he supposedly represents or encouraging a positive neighborhood institution, I won’t be voting for him again.

      And yes, Mt Pleasant has a long-earned reputation for being a pain in the ass neighborhood in which to do business, as well as neighborhood fora dominated by long-running personal feuds (check out the not-very-useful mtpleasantdc.org sometime). Beau Thai is great, but that space nearly never happened because of people trying to block the library expansion (Beau Thai is in the former temporary library space). Yes, we have LIBRARY NIMBYs.

  • Also, I speak Spanish, and enjoy shopping at El Progreso Market and other Latino businesses on the strip. Still, many of my neighbors don’t speak Spanish and most of the staff of the Latino businesses don’t speak English well. Should they be required to make people with diverse backgrounds welcome? I’ve seen English-speaking people in these shops having a hard time communicating. Seems analogous to what those complaining about the market were saying, no?

  • Note: I am not actually suggesting we burden the small businesses, just pointing out how ludicrous the commissioners complaints are.

  • I was not aware of the ANC1D Google Group Forum (and based on the small number of page views perhaps I’m not the only one), but it turns out the ANC has a fairly active public dialogue between members. Unfortunately, based on viewing a handful of postings, it seems fairly contentious, especially for a five member local ANC. I hope the Mount Pleasant ANC can work together to improve the neighborhood and not sound like the House of Representatives.

    For example, here’s a conversation initiated by Rosa Rivas. It’s quite the read: https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/anc1d/rc-B9k_apvQ


    Dear neighbors:

    I would like to take this opportunity to thank you very much all my neighbors that wrote me concerned about the Farmers market permit process.

    Before I move forward please also allow me to apologize for the misinformation and manipulation you have been exposed by my colleague Commissioner Jack McKay

    Now please allow me to stay some of the facts around this issue;


    1. I fully support the Farmers Market Initiative as a concept and I believe it has a powerful, fun, creative and exciting role in our community; attracts new neighbors, is good for local businesses, etc.

    2. Myself or any other commissioner have NEVER said or made a statement against the farmers market as a concept or threaten to hold their permits

    3. The ANC rules indicate that for approval of the issuance of DPR letters to be automatic. If no commissioner objects, then the letter is issued, with no appearance at an ANC meeting required. But if any commissioner has an objection, then the letter has to await an ANC meeting.

    4. We have asked the Director of the Farmers Market Mr. Robert Frazier to come in front of this body to our ANC meeting on the month of February, to answer questions that myself and other commissioners had and perhaps allow us to provide suggestions to strengthen the Farmers Market (there is always room for improvement) Mr. Robert refused to attend the ANC meeting on February, I believe misguided by Commissioner Jack McKay.

    5. By refusing to attend the ANC meeting on the month of February, Mr. Robert put the farmers market on this situation of perhaps running out of time to complete with all requirements to open the farmers market on time. Again I believe misguided by Commissioner McKay.

    6. This ANC is a new ANC as a body; with 3 newly elected Commissioners. Furthermore as far as I know the ANC is govern by a democratic process where everyone has the right to ask questions and offer suggestion and then make a decision as a body by voting; this is not a Dictatorship where what Jack McKay say is what the ANC must do. If the intention of Commissioner McKay is to bully me into doing something I don’t believe is right then he has grossly miss calculated the will of a single mother Latina woman.

    7. For new commissioners asking the Director of the farmers Market to meet with the ANC is in compliance with rules and regulations set by previous ANC commissioners were Jack McKay played a leading role. I think that the process should be revisited and strengthen to serve all sectors of our community. But that will be a different topic we will address in a different time because I would like to see to be friendlier and more open to all sectors of our community.

    8. The Director of the farmers market must attend the next ANC meeting if he has nothing to hide, if he is open to build a stronger relationship with the full body of this new ANC and if he understands that we all want the Market to succeed.

    Neighbors this is not the only issue I’m working on, last Saturday we coordinated with Councilmember Brianne Nadeau for a walk through our neighborhood and identified issues that we are already working to resolve and this coming weekend we are doing another walk in the neighborhood with the Mayor’s office to identify other issues that we need to work.

    My commitment to keep building a beautiful, integrated, safer and stronger Mount Pleasant is strong and I welcome to join us at our next ANC meeting; Tuesday March 24, 2015 at 7:00 PM.



    Well, that’s a pretty hostile posting. Let’s be clear: Robert Frazier does not take direction from me. In fact, he’s a bit annoyed with me, because I insisted that he go through the standard procedure for obtaining this DPR letter of support, namely by sending the ANC an e-mail assuring us that the event proposed would not be a disturbance to the neighborhood. That was in January. He didn’t attend our February meeting because he was “working the State of the Union on Tuesday and could not be at the ANC meeting”. On March 11, his e-mail requesting our letter, conforming to our procedures, finally arrived. I speculate that the long delay between January and March was because he did not appreciate being told by me that he had to request the letter in accordance with our procedure.

    “Mr. Robert refused to attend the ANC meeting on February, I believe misguided by Commissioner Jack McKay.” — No, that’s totally false.

    “By refusing to attend the ANC meeting on the month of February, Mr. Robert put the farmers market on this situation of perhaps running out of time to complete with all requirements to open the farmers market on time. Again I believe misguided by Commissioner McKay.” — No, totally false again.

    Upon receipt of Robert Frazier’s e-mail, I expected to be able to provide the DPR letter after the three-day waiting period, as per our procedure. But first Arturo, then Rosa, then Franko, all objected to the automatic issuance of the DPR letter, insisting that Robert Frazier come to an ANC meeting to respond to questions from these commissioners.

    That’s their right, to be sure, but it was obvious from the beginning that the ANC’s holding up of the letter to the DPR, until Robert attends an ANC meeting, would not be well received by the people of Mount Pleasant.

    — Jack

    • “If the intention of Commissioner McKay is to bully me into doing something I don’t believe is right then he has grossly miss calculated the will of a single mother Latina woman.”
      Do NOT miscalculate the will of an angry MAMA BEAR!
      Wow. lol

  • Mt Pleasant ANC Commissioners met with the owner of the Mt Pleasant Farmers’ Market Robert Frazier last Sunday. Concerns that 4 out of 5 Commissioners received were addressed and the permit was approved unanimously and sent out on Monday. See you at the Farmers’ Market Sat. April 4th!
    Frank O. Agbro ANC 1d (Chair)

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