Julia Falcon | Staff Writer
The Denton Community Market could be heading to a new, bigger location at the Denton police station parking lot and police training station on Exposition Drive.
The Denton City Council discussed the possibility of the move, which was first proposed last year, at its meeting Tuesday, Aug. 2.
“This was to present the final development plan for the site. Questions arose about the location of the site,” Mayor Chris Watts said. “Direction was given to the subcommittee to bring back some alternative sites or some modifications to the site. We are still looking for a site, expanding the search, and trying to fix some issues.”
The producer-only market and art market is open every Saturday morning from April to November and supports local businesses.
One issue in relocating, however, is parking, due to the Denton police training center potentially sharing a space with the market. Another is the possibility of having large events across from the police station, concerning loud music and alcohol consumption, and safety concerns for police officers with the potential large gatherings, Watts said.
“These are things you need to be careful of,” Watts added. “We are looking for better alternatives for a win-win situation for everybody.”
Denton police Chief Lee Howell showed up to the council’s work session and expressed his concern about the project being located at the Exposition lot.
“I am not opposed to the market, but I just don’t think the exposition lot is a good location,” Howell said. “There are parking issues. City Hall East already feels the impact of parking issues. DCTA ridership has exploded and takes up all the railroad street lot, spilling into our lots and the exposition lot.”
Howell also said traffic congestion and building security are concerns to him in potentially having the market move to its proposed location.
“The concerns today are the same but relatively different,” Howell said. “Crowds of people for any reason into an area that is continuing to develop will just compound that. Everyone around the city experiences traffic. When you put that into business of the police station, responding to the jail and EMS from time to time, the access is already congested.”
Council is expected reach a conclusion within the next 60 to 90 days.
During the meeting, Denton resident William Frenkel expressed his gratitude to council members during open mic about their help with the market.
“I have lived in Denton for 17 years, and since the market opened I have volunteered and helped fundraise,” Frenkel said. “This goes towards my food operating license. Thank you for fully recognizing the value of the market.”
Featured Image: Mayor Chris Watts speaks at a Denton City Council meeting. Tomas Gonzalez | Visuals Editor