Proposed city ordinance in Los Banos could put farmer out of business

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The farmer has been selling fresh produce at a public park on the weekends. He calls it a farmers market but the city says he's a private vendor. (KFSN)

A proposed city ordinance in Los Banos could put a farmer out of business. The farmer has been selling fresh produce at a public park on the weekends. He calls it a farmers market but the city says he's a private vendor.

Will Areias is a small time famer with a growing business, "I work, play and make money out in the field," he said.

Everything he produces, the vegetables, the fruit, the honey from the bees, he sells at a public park, a couple miles away.

"I enjoy it, I do everything, I'm a one man show," Areias said, "it means a lot to me."

He truly is a one man show -- not just at the farm but also at the park where he sets up shop. He calls it a farmers market and it's open twice a week next to the busiest street in Los Banos.

Areias explained, "Since there was no ordinance, all I had was a business license from the city, all I needed at the time."

Things are changing. The city is working on an ordinance to regulate a farmers market. It was introduced Wednesday night and it could put Areias out of business.

City Manager Steven Carrigan said, "You don't have permission to be out there, you don't have a permit, I haven't seen insurance."

Areias says he can fix all of that but he can't meet the other terms and conditions. The city wants a farmers market with several vendors, possibly downtown and that's where the problem is.

"I would say you are a standalone vendor operating on a public property as a storefront," Carrigan said to Arreias.

In the end, the city and Areias couldn't work things out, "I don't think he should be allowed to vend at Pacheco Park until he has an agreement signed with the city."

Until then, Areias' business will be at a standstill.

"They don't want me to succeed so they're smashing the small guy for no reason," Areias said.



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politicspoliticsbusinessfarmer’s marketsfarmingfoodmerced countyag watchLos Banos
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