• Restaurant proposal for Riverside causing controversy

    By: Danielle Avitable, Action News Jax

    Updated:

    A proposal for a restaurant in the historic district of Riverside is causing a stir among neighbors.

    It’s been a six-month controversy with zoning being the only thing standing in its way.

    “It’s absolutely inappropriate for the area,” said neighbor Steve Settle.

    That’s how most of the people who live in the Riverside area feel about the proposal for a restaurant and full-service bar along Oak Street.

    Nancy Murrey-Settle has grown up and now lives in a house that sits just 300 feet from the vacant building that developers want to turn into “Roost.”

    “I fear the residents will move out, there will be a lot of rentals and the neighborhood will deteriorate,” said Murrey-Settle.

    She also said she's worried about the customers that the 150-seat restaurant would bring.

    “There would be a lot (of) strangers walking around with my daughter out here. A lot of parking, a lot of cars on our residential streets,” she said.

    Nancy Powell with the Riverside Avondale Preservation Association said this proposal was first brought to them last September and for the proposal to be passed, the historical area must be rezoned to allow a commercial restaurant.

    “They either need to scale down the restaurant for this location to be a neighborhood restaurant, or they need to move their concept as it stands to an area where it’s zoned properly,” said Powell.

    However, some people who live nearby think adding Roost would be beneficial.

    “I think it would be great. I think the area is coming back. Looks like we are moving more people in, more things to do, more people live here,” said neighbor Jennifer Clark.

    The next step is to go to the city’s Land Use and Zoning Committee, which will make a recommendation to the City Council.

    At last check, no date has been set for this meeting, but we will continue to follow the latest developments.


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