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By Brian Park

In two separate items, the San Juan Capistrano City Council on Tuesday, April 11 voted unanimously to do away with fees for a pair of popular local events, the Second Saturday Art Fair and the Swallows Day Parade.

Randi Peshkin, organizer of the monthly art fair, had been receiving fee waivers since 2007. Charlie View, the city’s director of development services, noted that the event was a “contributor to the economic recovery in downtown,” but that ongoing construction of the Interstate 5/Ortega Highway interchange and a recovering economy adversely affected the fair. The city will now waive $7,800 in fees over the next two years.

The art fair’s new agreement also includes plans to begin antique sales and sidewalk chalk art exhibits.

The council also voted to indefinitely wave fees for the Fiesta Association, the all-volunteer nonprofit that organizes the Swallows Day Parade. The Fiesta Association had been receiving a waiver annually. Fees for the 2014 parade cost $32,600.

Joel Peshkin, Randi’s husband, expressed concern that the Fiesta Association’s fees were being waived in perpetuity and suggested a more limited time frame.

Councilman Derek Reeve noted that future councils could vote to reinstate the waiver requirement.

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