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We Love Avondale Attempts to Ruin Christmas Event

This past Saturday, a group of civic-minded people gathered together to host a charity event to benefit Nemours Children?s Hospital in conjunction with Christmas in Avondale. Intuition Ale Works, Jax Truckies, Burrito Gallery and On The Fly food truck teamed up with Mellow Mushroom to host this charity event on the future Mellow Mushroom Avondale site. All of these locally-owned businesses routinely participate in events which raise money for charitable causes. The event featured a silent disco that was immensely popular with children, free merchandise to participants and the sale of food and beverages whose proceeds were donated to Nemours.

Published December 3, 2012 in Opinion      221 Comments    Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article


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To participate in Christmas in Avondale, Mellow Mushroom paid a $150 fee to Avondale Merchant Association, Inc in order to sell food on site.  Many vendors that are not part of the Shoppes of Avondale participate in Christmas in Avondale.  For instance, located directly across the street from the old gas station property Saturday night was a mobile food vendor that routinely sells food at the Riverside Arts Market.    The underlying zoning (CCG-1, which allows for the sale of beer and wine by right) of the property allowed for such use and all of the proper and legal paperwork was in order which allowed for this charity event to take place.    
 
What follows is my eyewitness account of the disturbing events that happened Saturday night.  A team of four or five agents of the Florida Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco (ABT) turned up about 6:20PM.  One of the agents arrived first without wearing an ABT jacket.  She then bought a beer and talked to the bar staff who explained it was a charity event for Nemours.  That agent then left via the entrance passing a clear sign saying ‘do not take alcohol past this point’.  The team of agents then returned wearing ABT jackets and asked to see the proper paperwork.  The agents were aggressive and made several threatening remarks to participants of the charity event in front of children.  As mentioned previously, the paperwork followed the letter and intent of the law without blemish.  Eventually, the ABT was satisfied that the event was 100% compliant and left the premises after about 45 minutes.  Open containers sold by nearby restaurants are the norm at Christmas in Avondale.  Yet, a charitable event featuring children’s activities and a food truck was the only site investigated by ABT on Saturday night.    
 
I was forwarded an email from We Love Avondale sent to its members, just a few hours before the ‘raid’ was called in on the charity event.  The email was fraught with inaccurate information.  The timing of this email is suspiciously curious.  The following is the transcript of that communication:

“When you visit Christmas in Avondale this evening (because of course you will!) , you may notice the food truck on the old garage parcel.   Brought into the event by John Valentino, this addition to Christmas in Avondale is over the objection of the President of the Avondale Merchant’s Association.   This is not the addition of a merchant in the Shoppes to the event – the food truck is not Mellow Mushroom but Burrito Brothers, a restaurant located downtown – and the sale of beer on this property is not permitted under the zoning.

Christmas in Avondale is wholly sponsored by the merchants in the Shoppes.  They organize, schedule and fund the event.   This is their opportunity to show the community what they offer for the Christmas season and to get to know you, their neighbors, better.   The snow slide, Santa and other children’s events have been part of kicking off Christmas in Avondale for 17 years or so.

So please do come out and enjoy the festivities.  Know that the Mellow Mushroom’s addition to the event does not in any way say that this establishment is coming to the Shoppes.   The public hearing on the appeal of the approval granted by the Planning Commission has been scheduled for January 5 (Saturday) at 9 AM.    Please plan to attend and participate – this will be the most important contribution you can make toward maintaining the quality of your neighborhood! “

 
I care deeply for this city and for the Riverside/Avondale neighborhood.  We can all respectfully disagree with zoning issues, while still maintaining a personal sense of dignity and mutually respectful decorum towards one another.  However, I cannot comprehend the harassment myself and many friends were forced to bear this Saturday for simply deciding to legally raise money for a worthy cause.  We shouldn’t punish the audacity of those trying to make our community a better place.  The end result of Saturday night was a donation of over $1,000 to Nemours in order to support children diagnosed with cancer while men, women and children of all ages enjoyed their evening.  

Editorial by Mike Field  







221 Comments

KEGreene1

December 03, 2012, 12:52:21 PM
1. John owns the property.  I believe he is being pretty neighborly by hosting a Charity event on his property.
2. Ruin the Christmas in Avondale... Who is the one who called the dogs in and made it a spectacle?

I'm actually speechless to this point.  There is nothing these people will not do.  I've stayed above the - I'm boycotting Avondale businesses to this point.  But I guess it has come down to that. 
 

ben says

December 03, 2012, 01:03:44 PM
^ Again, for the fourth time, why does the "Young Professionals of Riverside Avondale" choose to meet at Elevated Avondale?

JeffreyS

December 03, 2012, 01:07:50 PM
Good grief WLA you really are low. RAP please distance yourselves from this horrible group. 

fieldafm

December 03, 2012, 01:11:44 PM
^ Again, for the fourth time, why does the "Young Professionals of Riverside Avondale" choose to meet at Elevated Avondale?

RAP180 is in NO WAY associated with We Love Avondale.  Period.


ben says

December 03, 2012, 01:14:10 PM
^ I 100% understand that, and have understood that since the first time I asked the question. More wondering whyRAP180 and it's members choose to patronize Elevated Avondale. Out of ALL the establishments in Riverside/Avondale, WHY that one? Can't RAP180 pick a more neighborhood friendly place????  :o

fsujax

December 03, 2012, 01:23:32 PM
wow. what a sad turn this whole thing has taken. Simply ridiculous and uncalled for. Again Springfield is open for business, I wouldnt dare try to open anything in Avondale right now.

MEGATRON

December 03, 2012, 01:31:47 PM
^ Again, for the fourth time, why does the "Young Professionals of Riverside Avondale" choose to meet at Elevated Avondale?

RAP180 is in NO WAY associated with We Love Avondale.  Period.
However, RAP has allowed WLA to speak to the RAP board without allowing MM to do the same.  You cannot argue that RAP and WLA have aligned themselves in regard to MM.

MEGATRON

December 03, 2012, 01:34:58 PM
So, I live a couple blocks away from the MM site.  I have not experienced any issues related to parking until Saturday.  It was a mess and folks were flying up and down our street. That does not bother me.  I chose to buy a house near a commercial strip and the street is open to the public for parking. 

However, I do have a problem with WLA and the merchants association promoting the CIA concept while attacking MM.

sheclown

December 03, 2012, 02:12:27 PM
wow

strider

December 03, 2012, 02:18:12 PM
Wow.  Sad part is WLA will sink even lower before it's done.  And RAP is only marginally better right now.

fsquid

December 03, 2012, 02:20:21 PM
sounds like people in that neighborhood need hobbies

stephendare

December 03, 2012, 02:28:05 PM

RexMontana

December 03, 2012, 02:28:24 PM
It's hard to believe that Riverside Avondale Preservation and "We Love Avondale" would stoop so low as to order a raid on businesses trying to raise money to support children diagnosed with cancer at Nemours. I have lost all respect for RAP with this incident, as well as their constant interference with people that want to bring their business to the Riverside and Avondale areas. Why is parking such a sticking point with EVERY development that comes to this area? I have been to businesses in this area many times and have NEVER had any problem finding a parking place. Mellow Mushroom is a great restaurant that serves a wide variety of people, young and old. I do not live in this area, but it really surprises me how hard RAP is working AGAINST bringing this business to the area and how "WLA" has aided and abetted RAP with their dirty, small town tactics. SHAME ON YOU RAP AND WLA!! I will take my business elsewhere!

Captain Zissou

December 03, 2012, 02:29:51 PM
It's obvious that the WLA folks aren't sane.  They're going to burn down the neighborhood and dance in the ashes before they let Valentino open a restaurant.  How sad that they can't see how low they have stooped.  Unfortunately, they will go much lower than this.

martybjaguars

December 03, 2012, 02:35:07 PM
This letter shines a light on the type of people that MM has been dealing with for over a year. While they will publicly say all the right things, they are meeting clandestinely to do all the wrong things. Cudos to MM, the "Burrito Brothers" (LOL), On The Fly, and all that donated their time to help a great cause.

fieldafm

December 03, 2012, 02:36:16 PM
To repeat, RAP was not behind Saturday's events.  To claim otherwise would be a gross misrepresentation of the facts.  I am accutely aware of this b/c I was in the middle when threats of arrests were being 'discussed'... which is a term I use graciously. 

The email copied in the article was sent from a WLA member to all members of WLA. 

MEGATRON

December 03, 2012, 02:38:17 PM
To repeat, RAP was not behind Saturday's events.  To claim otherwise would be a gross misrepresentation of the facts.  I am accutely aware of this b/c I was in the middle when threats of arrests were being 'discussed'... which is a term I use graciously. 

The email copied in the article was sent from a WLA member to all members of WLA.
Lie down with dogs, get up with fleas.

fieldafm

December 03, 2012, 02:40:12 PM
Help raise money for kids, threaten with arrest.. and then shoot messenger.

Classy move dude.

agatha05

December 03, 2012, 02:41:18 PM
Neither WLA nor RAP made any phone calls to the Alcohol Beverage and Tobacco folks.  The 'raid' as it is being described was not instigated by them.

Captain Zissou

December 03, 2012, 02:43:36 PM
FYI, Burrito Brothers is in Gainesville.  These old bats don't even know what city they're in. 

fsujax

December 03, 2012, 02:43:46 PM
ooooh this just keeps getting better and better!

stephendare

December 03, 2012, 02:44:40 PM
Neither WLA nor RAP made any phone calls to the Alcohol Beverage and Tobacco folks.  The 'raid' as it is being described was not instigated by them.

bullshit, agatha. 

That is simply not the way that the ABT works.

mperezjville

December 03, 2012, 02:52:30 PM
I would not bother to try and have this fight. The WLA people are in deep with 1st BC no way MM wins this battle. Don't get me wrong I love MM have a bunch of friends that work for the company but this is one of those fights that gets you no where unless you can buy the church first.

JaxDiablo

December 03, 2012, 02:56:18 PM
Neither WLA nor RAP made any phone calls to the Alcohol Beverage and Tobacco folks.  The 'raid' as it is being described was not instigated by them.

bullshit, agatha. 

That is simply not the way that the ABT works.

Gotta agree with Stephen, unless it is brought to their attention that something needs to be reviewed they rarely poke their heads up unless they are doing a full on "raid" of local places.  The fact that it was one specific venue at the entire event makes it pretty clear cut that they were called out.

Also, with all the complaining about parking, why do they let this event take place?  I was driving home and I not only had to fight through streets that were full up with vehicles on both sides, but also drunk revelers in the streets (not walking on the sidewalks), and people aggresively driving with very limited space to manuever their vehicles.

stephendare

December 03, 2012, 02:56:37 PM
what on earth is 1st BC?

JaxDiablo

December 03, 2012, 02:57:35 PM
I think they mean FBC.

stephendare

December 03, 2012, 03:01:09 PM
I think they mean FBC.

Ah. 
If it makes you feel any better, mperez, First Baptists is in no way affiliated with this offensive and vindictive group.

The moral outrage comes from the same people that JaxDiablo just pointed out hosted a giant drunken outdoor snootasnort in avondale----the other restaurants.

fsujax

December 03, 2012, 03:01:35 PM
oh Lord, now FBC gets brougt into this. I really do not think the church cares either way.

stephendare

December 03, 2012, 03:03:44 PM
The comments on our facebook page have mentioned the snotty drunks who made the Christmas in Avondale event unpleasant for children (except for the child friendly Food Truck Event)

Did anyone go to this hootenanny that didnt get harrassed by cops for doing God's work have any photos or anecdotes?

RiversideLoki

December 03, 2012, 03:05:54 PM
I really still can't for the life of me figure out exactly why.. I mean REALLY why WLA is against MM in the first place. The parking issue is dumb, the traffic issue is a non-starter. What's the REAL reason why they don't want MM or anything to do with MM in the strip? Is it just a "we don't want any more competition" issue? Or is it just the fact that someone didn't pay tribute to the right deity? What the heck is all the hub-bub?

MEGATRON

December 03, 2012, 03:17:56 PM
Help raise money for kids, threaten with arrest.. and then shoot messenger.

Classy move dude.
Was referring to RAP, not you. Appreciate you bringing this to the board's attention and your work raising money for Nemours. 

MEGATRON

December 03, 2012, 03:19:25 PM
I really still can't for the life of me figure out exactly why.. I mean REALLY why WLA is against MM in the first place. The parking issue is dumb, the traffic issue is a non-starter. What's the REAL reason why they don't want MM or anything to do with MM in the strip? Is it just a "we don't want any more competition" issue? Or is it just the fact that someone didn't pay tribute to the right deity? What the heck is all the hub-bub?


Many think that pizza and BBQ joints are too low brow for the Shoppes.

JaxDiablo

December 03, 2012, 03:23:54 PM
I really still can't for the life of me figure out exactly why.. I mean REALLY why WLA is against MM in the first place. The parking issue is dumb, the traffic issue is a non-starter. What's the REAL reason why they don't want MM or anything to do with MM in the strip? Is it just a "we don't want any more competition" issue? Or is it just the fact that someone didn't pay tribute to the right deity? What the heck is all the hub-bub?
Many think that pizza and BBQ joints are too low brow for the Shoppes.

I've got to assume based on the members of WLA that it's a fear of competition.  I won't go to any of the restaurants on that strip except for Mojo's.  I've been to all of them, but they are all boring, overpriced (at least for their Sysco Specials), and usually don't have the best service.  Based on the reputation that MM has they are probably scared they are going to get drummed out of business or have to go ahead and up their game, which will in turn up their cost of business which of course means less in their pockets.  So yeah, I'd be willing to bet it's a fear thing.  Anyone with any common sense will realize their arguments are not really valid points, especially if you walk through that area as it stands right now.

stephendare

December 03, 2012, 03:48:01 PM
Its a combination of anti competition and a very palpable challenge to the 'power' of an extremely entitled group of people.

Frank and Steve and a couple of other people went whining to their customers, which included Adam Hollingsworth, who put the thumbscrews to everyone's favorite State Run Communist, Jim Love to make competition illegal.

They then assumed that there would be no difficulty in ramming down the legal use of the mellow mushroom property considering the political connectedness of the Powernome in Avondale.  It turned out that  there was this pesky set of obstacles.  The Law, a bunch of unbathed heathens who actually live in the neighborhood that don't support the anti business nonsense, and the fact that John Valentino has an assload of money. (not to mention those meddling kids at MetroJacksonville)

In eras past, of course, none of this would have mattered.  The prols in general could just shut the hell up and let their betters decide the issue, the laws could be changed or special 'circumstances' could be found to allow just about anything, Valentino could have been kicked out of the yacht club (or have his dogs banned from the dining room or something) and the meddlers in the press could answer to publishers that depended on their advertising dollars.

The very fact that all of this hasnt happened and that they have already lost a number of hearings challenges their world view,... and that simply will not do, will it?

And this is separate from the hearties at RAP, in my observation.  Disagree with Kay Ehas (at your own peril) and Carmen Godwin or any of the rest of the board if you will.  No one can deny that they are in it because they are committed people who truly believe in the overall rightness of what they are doing.

RAP might be viscerally wrong on some issues, and they might resort to underhanded methods at times (it is the south, after all, ----no one appreciates over handed ones) but they operate from a good place in which they generally put the larger issues above their own egos.  I have a lot of affection and respect for Kay and Carmen even though we clearly disagree on a few important issues.

But the We Love Avondale group is another thing altogether.  They are simply operating from cupidity and blind hubris.  There is a natural order, they perceive, and they are at the top of that order and this is a struggle for power that has nothing to do with sensible policy, a spirit of neighborliness, or the common good.

What is so disappointing is that their very comportment is what gives the lie to the notion of Southern Gentility and Class.

These are people who one expects to live by their word, to deal honestly and openly with people, to be gracious in both adversity and defeat, to be passionate but fair, to tell the truth.  And so far they have operated like the worst trailer park trash that has ever vexed an unhappy Northside.

At least in my humble opinion.

Perhaps its because several of the important 'players' on the WLA side were not, shall we say, to the manor born.

That fear of competition, plus an overwhelming sense of entitlement is a pretty powerful fuel to burn the fire.

Better character would have convinced them that making a truthful and good spirited argument and winning over the public would have been the better route.  They have chosen this kind of shenanigan instead, and I cannot imagine that it will be a successful long term strategy.

Ask the old overlords of SPAR.

peestandingup

December 03, 2012, 04:15:36 PM
Can we make a list of the restaurants/shops that support this garbage so I know not to give them any of my business (and can tell others)? I rarely consider doing anything in Avondale these days anyways. About the only place I frequent anymore is the toy store over there because they're so helpful & are always very nice, never looking down their noses. Can't say the same for a lot of the other places.

And the fact that these deluded individuals think this strip is "highbrow" is laughable in the first place. Leave it to a handful of elitist pricks to ruin yet another area in the core. That seems to happen a lot here. *cough* Springfield! *ahem* Downtown!

RiversideLoki

December 03, 2012, 04:35:14 PM
Anyone who thinks the Avondale strips is highbrow need only hang out at Monty's like any day of the week.

RockStar

December 03, 2012, 04:47:56 PM
I love Burrito Brothers.

ben says

December 03, 2012, 04:51:57 PM
Anyone who thinks the Avondale strips is highbrow need only hang out at Monty's like any day of the week.

hahah

peestandingup

December 03, 2012, 05:42:33 PM
The We Love Avondale action play set.

Pinky

December 03, 2012, 05:44:16 PM
I'm just speechless.

Well, almost speechless.

Ladies and Gents, we've gone way off the rails here, far far off into Bizarro Land.  The Merchants Association tried to discourage MM from participating, and when that fails, WLA calls in The Man who then comes and hassles ONE out of a dozen businesses and leaves while walking past hundreds of open container infractions????   Ninja Please; that's some bull*$&#.

Once again, I think Valentino should open a Dongs And Bongs Superstore there, just to teach these fuggers a lesson. 

undergroundgourmet

December 03, 2012, 05:44:57 PM
I was formally a member of the Avondale Merchants Assoc. They do this every year. Anyone not in the club they will do whatever it takes to take you off the street during this event. Granted the members of the We Love Avondale most likely support the businesses and the Association by spending money in the shops. The President of the Association Diane @ J Ashley along with some of the others in the group hated that Mojo's got through their fence but they are fighting hard to keep the fence up so to speak for Mellow Mushroom. I so hope Mellow mushroom just keeps plugging along. go go go

buckethead

December 03, 2012, 05:54:12 PM
I'm just speechless.

Well, almost speechless.

Ladies and Gents, we've gone way off the rails here, far far off into Bizarro Land.  The Merchants Association tried to discourage MM from participating, and when that fails, WLA calls in The Man who then comes and hassles ONE out of a dozen businesses and leaves while walking past hundreds of open container infractions????   Ninja Please; that's some bull*$&#.

Once again, I think Valentino should open a Dongs And Bongs Superstore there, just to teach these fuggers a lesson.
Like/agree buttons can clutter the dialogue and lend undue credence to opinions... but in this instance, I would really like to be able to 'like' a comment.

spuwho

December 03, 2012, 06:11:09 PM
Avondale blocking a well known local business, the city blocking purchases of tax payer owned property, companies backing out of the Laura Trio.

Geez, and we want to sell Jacksonville as ripe for investment?

Not.

sheclown

December 03, 2012, 06:29:18 PM
Hold on MM. 

He who laughs last, laughs best.

ben says

December 03, 2012, 07:05:47 PM
still pissed about the gas station!!!!!!!!!!!!!

kreger

December 03, 2012, 07:17:27 PM
MM could have avoided this situation and just bought 9th and Main instead. I actually don't do Avondale much since  the Mojo #4 opened it's too congested. I actually kinda feel for everybody in this situation. They all have a valid point, but I think that strip of St Johns is getting tapped out. Time will tell.

ChriswUfGator

December 03, 2012, 07:20:16 PM
I am accutely aware of this b/c I was in the middle when threats of arrests were being 'discussed'... which is a term I use graciously. 

The email copied in the article was sent from a WLA member to all members of WLA. 

Somebody should've called me, and to think I wasn't even doing anything Saturday night, and live a few blocks away. Damn, I actually like screwing with ABT, it's quite entertaining, I don't know where you find so many wanna-be navy seal / green beret rejects to staff one agency with. It's a helluva feat. I especially loathe that twerp Clingenpeel, was he one of the agents there? As soon as someone said they were trying to shut down a cancer charity benefit, all 4'4" of him popped into mind as a likely culprit.

acme54321

December 03, 2012, 07:21:30 PM
I love Burrito Brothers.

x2.  Oh that guac..... 

RexMontana

December 03, 2012, 09:55:16 PM
Maybe We Love Avondale can manage to have some police officers on hand to deter people from participating in the Luminaria. There just isn't enough parking for all those people and you know that they will be driving around with their loud holiday music blaring from their car stereos, as well as drinking and peeing in the neighbors yards!

cayohueso

December 03, 2012, 10:26:23 PM
I will not patronize any restaurant or store on this road anymore...ever. I have been going to many of them it's versions for 30+ years, but now I'm done. But I will go to MM if they make it. There are other places in Jax for overpriced toys, horrible service, small undercooked portions, bad wait staff attitudes and $8 yogurt.

Steve

December 03, 2012, 10:56:41 PM
MEGATRON - I'd like to know your source on the fact that MM was denied an opportunity to speak at a RAP board meeting, and that WLA was invited to speak. If you'd rather PM me, that's fine.

I ask this because as most people know, I'm on the RAP board, as well as the MJ board. For obvious reasons, I've kept out of the discussion on this subject. Further, I'm certainly not speaking here as part of the RAP board, but as a private citizen.

If you'd like to discuss further, please don't hesitate to write back or PM me.

peestandingup

December 03, 2012, 11:28:44 PM
I will not patronize any restaurant or store on this road anymore...ever. I have been going to many of them it's versions for 30+ years, but now I'm done. But I will go to MM if they make it. There are other places in Jax for overpriced toys, horrible service, small undercooked portions, bad wait staff attitudes and $8 yogurt.

I mostly agree with you. Overrated, overpriced snootiness is really not my bag. If its quality, then thats one thing. But most of it is not. It's the "pay us cause we're in Avondale" tax. Meh. Pass. All I can do is laugh at the people who think that eating at The Brick & getting an overpriced haircut somehow makes them part of the Jacksonville elite. Hell, maybe it does. Who cares.

Although I haven't seen a toy store in town better than the Green Alligator if you're looking for high quality, non-mass produced Chinese shit.

Happyvalley

December 04, 2012, 04:09:13 AM
Elite people deserve their own enclave...let's give it to them.
After some time goes by and no one buy their goods...well...you know the rest.

King Street and Five Points is for "the people", Avondale for the "gentry."
Charles of Navarre must business in Avondale.

Intuition Ale Works

December 04, 2012, 07:32:20 AM
MEGATRON - I'd like to know your source on the fact that MM was denied an opportunity to speak at a RAP board meeting, and that WLA was invited to speak. If you'd rather PM me, that's fine.

I ask this because as most people know, I'm on the RAP board, as well as the MJ board. For obvious reasons, I've kept out of the discussion on this subject. Further, I'm certainly not speaking here as part of the RAP board, but as a private citizen.

If you'd like to discuss further, please don't hesitate to write back or PM me.

Steve-

As a RAP boardmember, would you say that Mellow Mushroom and We Love Avondale have been treated equally?

When the RAP board voted to appeal the Planning Commission ruling were there any dissenting votes?


From an outsider looking in, RAP has been against MM coming into Avondale since day one. We Love Avondale did the dirty work for RAP.

MEGATRON

December 04, 2012, 08:57:01 AM
MEGATRON - I'd like to know your source on the fact that MM was denied an opportunity to speak at a RAP board meeting, and that WLA was invited to speak. If you'd rather PM me, that's fine.

I ask this because as most people know, I'm on the RAP board, as well as the MJ board. For obvious reasons, I've kept out of the discussion on this subject. Further, I'm certainly not speaking here as part of the RAP board, but as a private citizen.

If you'd like to discuss further, please don't hesitate to write back or PM me.
Steve, did the MM owner or his counsel allowed to address the board?  Did WLA members address the board?

wsansewjs

December 04, 2012, 08:58:11 AM
From comprehending all of the information, haysays, and crazy s*** about RAP and WLA, I can safely assume that these organizations are some secret society where all members would wear black hoods and speak in anonymous way.


WLA

Why there are few stupid human beings who would stoop so low to this level to do something such blashphemy? I am completely at lost, disoriented, and baffled by this entire bloody fiasco.

It is one of those things that you can try to help, but it is not working or it is moving beyond your control or influence that you become "helpless" and an uneasy twist of a knot in your stomach.

More to come...

-Josh
Return from hiatus on MJ

buckethead

December 04, 2012, 09:15:18 AM
MEGATRON - I'd like to know your source on the fact that MM was denied an opportunity to speak at a RAP board meeting, and that WLA was invited to speak. If you'd rather PM me, that's fine.

I ask this because as most people know, I'm on the RAP board, as well as the MJ board. For obvious reasons, I've kept out of the discussion on this subject. Further, I'm certainly not speaking here as part of the RAP board, but as a private citizen.

If you'd like to discuss further, please don't hesitate to write back or PM me.
Steve, did the MM owner or his counsel allowed to address the board?  Did WLA members address the board?
In fairness 'did not' ≠ 'could not'.

I am far enough removed from Avondale that my interest is purely one of principle. If one party was granted an opportunity to address the RAP board, while an opposing party was refused such permission, that is telling, but if this is your contention, please include more than just an accusation.

MEGATRON

December 04, 2012, 09:23:00 AM
MEGATRON - I'd like to know your source on the fact that MM was denied an opportunity to speak at a RAP board meeting, and that WLA was invited to speak. If you'd rather PM me, that's fine.

I ask this because as most people know, I'm on the RAP board, as well as the MJ board. For obvious reasons, I've kept out of the discussion on this subject. Further, I'm certainly not speaking here as part of the RAP board, but as a private citizen.

If you'd like to discuss further, please don't hesitate to write back or PM me.
Steve, did the MM owner or his counsel allowed to address the board?  Did WLA members address the board?
In fairness 'did not' ≠ 'could not'.

I am far enough removed from Avondale that my interest is purely one of principle. If one party was granted an opportunity to address the RAP board, while an opposing party was refused such permission, that is telling, but if this is your contention, please include more than just an accusation.
Of course, they are different things.  But might as well get the facts correct first, right?  My understanding is that the RAP board heard from many WLA members, but their agenda was too full to hear from MM.  Maybe what I heard was wrong.  But, based on my personal experiences, it would not surprise me.

John P

December 04, 2012, 09:52:57 AM
Not everyone is going to agree on everything. Respect peoples positions, go through the channels available, and move on to the next issue.

mhgc2

December 04, 2012, 11:53:52 AM
I live in Murray Hill and I suppose the snobs of avondale just can't stand the thought of the great unwashed spending their hard earned money at MM. I think the actions of WLA are appalling and reprehensible. I will not spend a dime in any business in the shoppes of avondale unless MM is allowed to open. I think we should build a wall around avondale and let them be their own little city and charge them to enter Jacksonville for any reason. Bunch of elitist hypocrites.

mbwright

December 04, 2012, 01:39:34 PM
I guess they are afraid of the shoppes becoming merely shops of Avondale...

I hope that MM continues their fight.  To think that ABT just happened to show up is insane.  It's like code enforcement coming to see the little shed in you backyard that nobody but your neighbor could see. 

This has reached a whole new low that I did not think was possible.

kln1323

December 04, 2012, 02:25:16 PM

Link is for "Boycott Avondale" Facebook page


https://www.facebook.com/#!/events/109846072516516/

Give them a Taste of their own Medicine

JeffreyS

December 04, 2012, 03:43:02 PM
I would love for MM to win the fight and be a great addition to the shoppes. I do not have an interest after that of seeing the other spaces fail. I support the idea of not gentrifying the area. I just believe MM will fit into the area vibe even though they are a chain.

Pinky

December 04, 2012, 09:07:13 PM
I would love for MM to win the fight and be a great addition to the shoppes. I do not have an interest after that of seeing the other spaces fail. I support the idea of not gentrifying the area. I just believe MM will fit into the area vibe even though they are a chain.

They're not a "chain", like McDonalds or KFC or something; each is individually (locally) owned, individually designed and decorated, and beyond a basic core pizza formula have individually determined menus.  It seems like you buy "the brand" primarily.  Each is unique.

(The gas station would have been REALLY unique.  Way to shit all over "vision", COJ/RAP/WLA; This is why we can't have nice things.)

Timkin

December 04, 2012, 10:38:44 PM
Very sad state of affairs.   

Like Pinky's idea of Valentino putting a dongs and bongs shop in .  Stellar.   They would really shit a brick then :o

Adam W

December 05, 2012, 06:00:39 AM
I would love for MM to win the fight and be a great addition to the shoppes. I do not have an interest after that of seeing the other spaces fail. I support the idea of not gentrifying the area. I just believe MM will fit into the area vibe even though they are a chain.

They're not a "chain", like McDonalds or KFC or something; each is individually (locally) owned, individually designed and decorated, and beyond a basic core pizza formula have individually determined menus.  It seems like you buy "the brand" primarily.  Each is unique.

(The gas station would have been REALLY unique.  Way to shit all over "vision", COJ/RAP/WLA; This is why we can't have nice things.)

They are a franchise. And they are definitely a chain. Sure, the decor or building may differ from location to location, but that is common of a lot of chains (many of which are franchises). It doesn't mean they are the same as McDonalds or KFC, sure, but it doesn't mean they aren't a chain.

There are other chains located in the Shoppes of Avondale - that Mojo BBQ place is a chain (even if it's a small, local chain) and there are shops (not restaurants) that are definitely chains in the area. So any opposition based on the notion of a Mellow Mushroom franchise being a chain or not being unique is pretty specious.

I am not fan of MM, but I can't see how the addition of a restaurant would really hurt the area. I assume the opposition is based on fear of competition and maybe snobbery (the thought that MM is too "down market" and might attract the "wrong kind" of people to the area).

Who knows.

Gators312

December 05, 2012, 08:57:27 AM
Very sad state of affairs.   

Like Pinky's idea of Valentino putting a dongs and bongs shop in .  Stellar.   They would really shit a brick then :o

Would the zoning allow for a homeless day center?

At least the anti-parking crowd would be appeased.

wsansewjs

December 05, 2012, 10:04:05 AM
COJ/RAP/WLA = CRAPWALLA!

-Josh

Cliffs_Daughter

December 05, 2012, 11:23:53 AM
Very sad state of affairs.   

Like Pinky's idea of Valentino putting a dongs and bongs shop in .  Stellar.   They would really shit a brick then :o

I LOL'd too hard at this!

How long has this opposition to MM been going on there? Since well before I moved out of Jax, I think. It's just so silly (insert your own adjective to equal or better that one, I haven't had coffee yet).

Seeing how another city's established neighborhoods have embraced a bit of "new" to keep their current businesses thriving, I don't know how much longer Avondale's going to be able to ride on their name alone.

thelakelander

December 05, 2012, 11:27:37 AM
Where are you at these days, Cliffs_Daughter?

Cheshire Cat

December 05, 2012, 12:14:43 PM
I would like to interject a couple of thoughts on this discussion and they are not about whether or not MM should relocate in Avondale but rather the deteriorating behavior of folks who call themselves adults when things do not go their way.  Talk about having ones panties in a bunch! All of this went off the deep end quite some time back and it need not have happened nor need it continue.  There can be resolution if folks decide they want it.  Discussion should focus on that in my view and not on how to punish MM proponents or opposition.  It makes my skin crawl when I hear commentary that is mean spirited with the single aim of tearing down something or someone folks are angry at.  This site has long been known as a place where there is keen interest in seeing positive growth and development in all areas of our community. The key is building with positive ideas, not tearing down just because one is angry at this or that person.  When conversation turns to "boycotting" small business or characterizing an entire neighborhood as full of snooty folks, we move to painting all things with a broad brush that is not only inaccurate but damaging.

I have to wonder why some, not all, who have commented on Avondale's merchants or wishing them failure or a taste of their own medicine are in fact tearing down the very type's of businesses that keep an area healthy.  When one wishes them failure, one also wishes that their employees fail as well, which means job loss and heartache.  Really people, really?  Not to mention the ripple effect impacting the suppliers who serve the Avondale businesses.

With all that is facing our communities, our nation and the world it seems absurd that so much attention and angst should be expended in an emotional tit for tat over a Pizza restaurant.  Whether one sides with MM or "some" of the citizens and merchants in Avondale, it is of little help to verbally tear apart a community by stating the residents are snobs and the merchants should be boycotted.  I live in Avondale and can easily stroll from home to the shops.  I have enjoyed them and their ambiance for years and during those years I have watched many a business come and go, succeed and fail.  That's just the way it works.  I have also seen and will continue to see, I am sure, conflicts over who does what when it comes to development in the Avondale area.  The shops will not fail and the neighborhood will not implode over this issue that much is a fact. 

Avondale is a well loved historic neighborhood.  Those of us who live here understand that there is a great deal of concern over keeping the historic integrity of the community intact and that even changes to one's own home will be scrutinized.  It comes with the territory.  Parking in and around the neighborhood has and will always be a problem.  Nothing new here.  Folks who chose to live close to the shops area should have understood that along with the enjoyment of a stroll to shop or dine in the shops comes the trade off of putting up with extra traffic.  While I can understand it gets annoying, I also realize that anyone living in close proximity to the shops have known this to be something that comes with living there.  This is also not new.

The mess at Christmas in Avondale was pure foolishness and in my view was hastened by hard headed folks on both sides of the MM issue.  Push came to shove and it ended up in ugly and there was no need for it.  All in all what I am saying is this.  We in Jacksonville will always have a problem moving forward when we participate in discussion and behaviors that continually paint ourselves as backwards, combative and behaving badly over things like a pizza restaurant.  In the end, we will have the pizza shop in one form or another.  So now would be the time for folks to "get over it" and work towards getting along in an ever changing world, even in the small corner of it called Avondale.  Folks on both side of this issue need to grow up and get a grip!



Diane Melendez

wsansewjs

December 05, 2012, 02:36:03 PM
The way I see it is so bloody simple. Mellow Mushroom basically had to BEND FORWARD and had to do everything of what others asked them to, THEN get thrown under the bus by the same people who asked them.

So please, it is not that HARD to comprehend the idea that they should allow a new business into a such OMG-HOLY-SACRED part of the town known as "Avondale", that same business that WANTS to reuse existing historic building, with STRONG emphasis in SUPPORTING a community

Please punch me if I am missing or drinking the kool-aid or even tainted water around here in Jacksonville.

What it should bloody have gone down:

Quote
Mellow Mushroom: "HAY GUISE! We want to build a mega awesome pizza restaurant and support other businesses by being part of Avondale truly, bring the energy so Avondale can prosper! YAY RIGHT? RIGHT? -nods-"

WLA / RAP / COJ: We have NO objection, but please proceed forward with few condition like make sure your parking spaces are set up correctly, and don't be so noisy at late nights"

Mellow Mushroom: "Oh no problem! We love to do that for you!"

Few months later, a magicial Mellow Mushroom place pops up using the existing buildings, and OH MY GOD ITS SO BEAUTIFUL AND AWESOME -sparkles sparkles-  OH WOW That gas station is still there, oh sweet! We can eat around the gas pump and rub those vintage stations for good luck. BEER IS ON THE HOUSE! Bring the pizzas out! Let the savoring aroma of delicious pizza fill the air, and all the businesses around start to thrive more and more.

The patrons would cheer delightfully and GOOD TIMES would begin now and yet to come for the Great Avondale as God smiles upon the little historical district.

BUT NOOOOOOOOOO! Here we are, being bunch of kids still being stubborn and bickering over silly-dally things, and not a single screw has gone into the new Mellow Mushroom place. How depressing...

-sigh-

-Josh

KEGreene1

December 05, 2012, 03:04:02 PM
I haven't heard or seen a peep of denial or support for WLA anywhere since Saturday's incident.

Are they feeling a little ashamed?  Or are they revelling in their recent exercise?

JeffreyS

December 05, 2012, 03:32:16 PM
To say there is blame on both sides is not just wrong it shows bad judgement Cheshire Cat.  MM has bent over backwards to make this project work. Every time MM acquiesces to what RAP and WLA say is their issue RAP and WLA change their position to be even more restrictive.  MM has behaved well since day one and that has brought them vocal support from some on the sidelines.  MM continues to try to be a good neighbor to people who want run MM out.

Cheshire Cat

December 05, 2012, 03:35:32 PM
Josh, most Avondale residents don't see the shops of Avondale as Holy ground.  LOL  They are lovely to have, make no mistake about it, but the idea that residents of Avondale are all against a pizza shop because the community is just to good for them is inaccurate.  What is behind every objection to the new business is some sort of fear and when people are fearful, they don't negotiate or listen well much of the time. The list of fears goes something like this.  Fear of change, fear of parking loss, fear of more parking on surrounding streets, fear of lost income on the part of other businesses and restaurants, fear of alcohol, fear of noise and fear of lost ambiance.  I am sure I could name more if I thought about it. 

As someone who has worked in both the areas of historic preservation and commercial revitalization a few things are glaringly apparent.  First is that all this drama over a new shop is over the top and not needed.  Secondly, you can bet your sweet bippy the MM pizza shop "will" come to Avondale in one form or another.  They have followed the rules, are not breaking laws and have tried to comply with area residents. This can become a long drawn out pissing match and legal battle or people can decide to move forward together in an amicable way.  Moving forward in an amicable way is the way out of this mess.  I feel that many just don't realize that if they can speak and listen with reason, all the what if's can be worked through and end up with an improvement to the shops and the area.  The shops and the neighborhood will go on as they have now for many more years to come and you can bet that the businesses will change, grow, succeed and fail as they always have regardless of what people fear may or may not happen.  On that note, I would simply ask that while this discussion continues that the entire community and it's residents not be verbally trashed in the process or because of the actions of a few.  Avondale is full of good, happy and down to earth people and businesses that should not be hurt because of this drama.  I hope that all who have fought on both sides tooth and nail over this will stop the drama, it is really time to grow up on all sides. 

Yes MM is a franchise, but what amazes me is that some in the shops who fear the competition or added traffic just don't see that having this well known franchise will be a financial draw to other restaurants and businesses.  The pizza chain has name recognition and that alone can bring new people and new patrons to the shops that will in turn enrich the pockets of other businesses in our little town.  The restaurants all offer venues different enough that someone who may come to the shops once for pizza may return another day to go to the brick or have breakfast at the Fox.  Others who would come for the pizza will find and array of really cool specialty shops and patronize those. They are not seeing the forest for the trees.

The gas station is one that I frequented and patronized in order to shop and spend my money locally and help to keep a small business alive.  It was taxes that did the station in.  I know this because I had several conversations with the owner about it.  The station itself was and is wholly unattractive and pretty much everyone knows it should go away.  No, it is not historic or worth saving.  The empty station lot has however provided some needed parking and it is for this reason alone that some would rather keep the old eyesore and fight anything that will take away haphazard parking lot the station has now become. 

The residents near the shops do know that it means they will deal with a bit more noise and parking congestion.  Some bristle at the thought, but I don't think anyone held their heels to the fire and made them buy homes where they did.  While they can expect some relief from noise, waste disposal and the like, moaning and groaning that the business will prove to be an imposition does not really wash as they have always had these issues to deal with.  If they can't stand it any longer than relocate to another area of Avondale or Jacksonville.  There is just too much bellyaching going on by some who have known the dynamic of this area for ages.  Get over it.

Cheshire Cat

December 05, 2012, 03:44:37 PM
Jeffrey your post went up before my last comments which I think you will see don't find fault with MM, let me clarify.  My statement about bad judgement was directed solely at the incident during the Christmas festivities in Avondale.  I am not suggesting that MM has not negotiated in good faith, not the other side for that matter.  My point was and is that the choice was made in the face of ongoing drama to pursue having a presence during the event which as property owners they certainly had the right to do.  In hindsight, perhaps it would have been better all the way around to have avoided the entire confrontation.  It is tantamount to one side trying to show the other who is boss and that they won't budge.  That is a tact that will only lead to more drama over the issue which in fact it did. In my opinion it was petty of those in the Merchants group to try and block the participation of the MM property owners, but it was equally foolish for the MM property owners to push the issue to make a point.  It exploded in everyone's faces and nothing positive has come of it.  That's the grown up, act like adults part that everyone failed at.  IMO



Diane M.

JeffreyS

December 05, 2012, 03:51:24 PM
I can see your point but I still find it hard to equate the actions of both sides.

Cheshire Cat

December 05, 2012, 04:00:00 PM
Likely because you are very passionate about the issue and I understand the passion, believe me I do. Right now this situation has reached the point where fairness and hurt feelings will never be brought to balance.  Someone will walk away from this feeling taken advantage of.  That's the nature of this type of negotiation.  Some will have to give to get on both sides.  Until all involved parties come back to the table and behave amicably as well as negotiate in good faith on all sides the situation will not find resolve.  That requires everyone to put on their big boy and big girl pants and act like thinking adults and get this deal done. 




Diane M.

Josh

December 05, 2012, 04:02:35 PM
Jeffrey your post went up before my last comments which I think you will see don't find fault with MM, let me clarify.  My statement about bad judgement was directed solely at the incident during the Christmas festivities in Avondale.  I am not suggesting that MM has not negotiated in good faith, not the other side for that matter.  My point was and is that the choice was made in the face of ongoing drama to pursue having a presence during the event which as property owners they certainly had the right to do.  In hindsight, perhaps it would have been better all the way around to have avoided the entire confrontation.  It is tantamount to one side trying to show the other who is boss and that they won't budge.  That is a tact that will only lead to more drama over the issue which in fact it did. In my opinion it was petty of those in the Merchants group to try and block the participation of the MM property owners, but it was equally foolish for the MM property owners to push the issue to make a point.  It exploded in everyone's faces and nothing positive has come of it. That's the grown up, act like adults part that everyone failed at.  IMO

Diane M.

I'd hate to think where civil rights would be in this country with this kind of dangerous thinking.

Cheshire Cat

December 05, 2012, 04:05:15 PM
Josh, we are talking about a pizza shop and petty adult bickering, not race relations. You know that.  Let's keep the discourse about the topic please and not create drama where there is none. Until folks learn how to do that and get past knee jerk commentary, there will be little hope for advancement of any salient point.  ;)
 


Diane M.

KEGreene1

December 05, 2012, 05:04:41 PM
Diane - I agree with your position.  However, the others also made a very valid point.  How do you negotiate in good faith with a group who has continued to say "If you do this, we will be okay" yet after MM makes the requested changes, they ask for more?  I relate it to a blackmailer.  I've always heard you never agree to a blackmailer's terms because they will never let you go.  You pay them once, they will keep coming back. 

That said, how do you propose dealing with a group who has behaved in this manner?

Cheshire Cat

December 05, 2012, 05:21:02 PM
KE Greene, you can't negotiate in good conscience under those conditions especially with people who don't want compromise but rather insist on having it all their way. Adults understand that you don't always get what you want just the way you want it.  Too many are not acting like adults but rather like petulant and spoiled children  This is why those in opposition to MM need to stop the nonsense and negotiate in good faith, then keep their word. Those in support of MM need to avoid a discourse that expresses distaste with the residents of Avondale or "all" the merchants.  They need to air all their fears and when those fears are dealt with, let the deal proceed.  Bottom line is that MM is fully within the law with regard to their proposals, whether or not opponents like that, those seem to be the facts.  It would behoove those who are constantly changing the ground rules to stop this foolish posturing IMO.   MM will open in Avondale, there is plenty of prosperity to go around.  Parking will go to the customers of the various establishments that are willing to walk or take the time for a space to open up.  That will impact all business equally. Just a half block from the core is Boone Park where parking is always available if shop patrons would walk a little these days, including us locals.

It would be a lot nicer all the way around if people would come to the realization that this deal will get done and something must go in to replace that mess of a station.  Any future problems after the restaurant is open if there are any, can be dealt with at that time.  Bottom line is that MM is not going to invest time and money into a failing enterprise, so it may be a good idea to welcome them and come to terms with the idea.  If an amicable resolution is not come to between all parties, it will result in a long protracted legal fight that will still see MM in Avondale in the end anyway.  This is a battle that need never happen and should not happen.  A case of cutting ones nose off to spite ones face if there every was one.  There is a win, win in here folks. 


Diane M.

wsansewjs

December 05, 2012, 05:23:26 PM
Josh, we are talking about a pizza shop and petty adult bickering, not race relations. You know that.  Let's keep the discourse about the topic please and not create drama where there is none. Until folks learn how to do that and get past knee jerk commentary, there will be little hope for advancement of any salient point.  ;)

Diane M.

Diane, I don't think you get my over-exaggerations and sarcastic remarks. Additionally, I never pointed fingers to the people of Avondale, only to the organizations who are being mean to a business who are trying to build one with good intention, but being ransacked to the bare minimum. For the record, Avondale is a fantastic little corner of the city, and I have enjoyed my visit there from time to time.

However, my concern is FOR the residents of Avondale, and they have a mess on their hands. The mess is an entity or two (WLA, and maybe RAP to certain extent) that "claims" to represent the residents of Avondale that contradicts the majority of the residents and their beliefs is abusing their authority and does NOT represent them truthfully and to the best interest.

I do agree with some of your statements including the brand recognition of Mellow Mushroom and how it can help bring in more new patrons to the shoppe of Avondale, which translates to more business for other shops / restaurants in the neighboring area.

-Josh

Cheshire Cat

December 05, 2012, 05:26:20 PM
Bless your heart Josh.  I know you mean well.  :)


Diane M.

strider

December 05, 2012, 06:23:49 PM
By and by, Mellow Mushroom's principals did exactly the right thing by being involved in the community they will be doing business in.  It makes no difference if the "other side" decided to cause trouble or not, MM needed to be there.  There is no other right way to deal with bullies, and this is exactly what this is, WLA and to some extent, RAP, are being bullies.  It did not blow up in MM's face, it blew up in WLA's face.  It might have been uncomfortable for MM but when doing the right thing in the face of adversity, it is seldom anything but uncomfortable.   It is still very much the right thing to do.

Cheshire Cat

December 05, 2012, 07:00:23 PM
That is a valid view as well strider.  For me it comes down to thinking about others and the families that would be there that evening and not making a personal or business point by either side at what is supposed to be a joyful event for all attending.  It's a PR thing in the end and it was incredibly dumb and selfish for someone to choose this venue to go after MM.  Of course MM property owners had every right to be there, they had the paperwork and followed the rules that is absolutely true. Attempts to shut them down, whoever was behind it, was small minded, petty and plain mean spirited.  In the end it will be up to the MM principals to decide if their position was helped, hurt on not affected by the choice to be a part of the event that night. Of course one should always stand their ground especially in the face of bullying.  The how and when one does that is the question IMO.  Perhaps its because I have been around a long time and have learned a good deal of patience, especially when it comes to making a point on an issue like this which will turn on what the public thinks they saw which was confrontation.  The ugly that night then spun into outrage and angry conversation which is not moving the issue forward in a positive way for any of the involved parties. That's where maturity was lacking.  None of this should have happened to begin with.   Had I been in MM's place given the choice I would have still held a holiday event within the rules and in my own time on my own property on another night.  Instead the issue was forced during what should have been a fun filled Christmas activity and public service effort.   Had they done their own event the following Saturday, MM would have stood out front in the eyes of the public for their positive actions as opposed to having to defend themselves in a public situation where they could not explain to onlookers what was going down.  The point could have been made, ground stood and good PR come out of it all.   That's my point.


Diane M.

stephendare

December 05, 2012, 07:49:50 PM
meh diane.  Mellow Mushroom did the right thing.  And unfortunately for the We Love Avondale group, they reacted by doing the wrong thing in such a way that they have been widely exposed as the rancorous bullies that they are.

Once upon a time this kind of thing would have happened in silence and shame, but those days are gone forever.

Given the opportunity to be glacial and indifferent, WLA chose instead to be crude and bullying.  No one chose that but them, and now they will have to deal with the public consequences of acting like asses.

Which is a good thing.

Cheshire Cat

December 05, 2012, 08:14:09 PM
Stephen, I think the view you and Strider both have is quite valid.  I would have done things a bit differently for PR reasons but the choice was theirs to make, not mine. ;)

I have reached a place in life where I have little to no patience for people behaving so badly or pretentiously as was done by the person or persons who chose a public Christmas event to stir up problems. It was a pathetic thing to do and very, very selfish of them seeing as this event was geared to family enjoyment not underhanded business posturing.   My hope would be that as a community and society we could all get past these petty behaviors.  This is such an easy win for all involved. WLA needs to take time out and RAP needs to be independent of the efforts of WLA. From where I am sitting WLA loves the will of WLA and not the entire community.  They certainly do not speak for all of us that much is sure.  The thing that is needed is for those doing the bargaining to stick to the terms they agree to and move on.   MM will be in the shops in the end.  Lets find that middle ground, stick to it and get the place open.  It will all work out so the "little red hens" can stop their "squawking" cause the sky is not falling people, it's a pizza place for heavens sake



Diane. 

stephendare

December 05, 2012, 08:22:31 PM
Stephen, I think the view you and Strider both have is quite valid.  I would have done things a bit differently for PR reasons but the choice was theirs to make, not mine. ;)

I have reached a place in life where I have little to no patience for people behaving so badly or pretentiously.  My hope would be that as a community and society we could all get past these petty behaviors.  This is such an easy win for all involved. WLA needs to take time out and RAP needs to be independent of the efforts of WLA. From where I am sitting WLA loves the will of WLA and not the entire community.  They certainly do not speak for all of us that much is sure.  The thing that is needed is for those doing the bargaining to stick to the terms they agree to and move on.   MM will be in the shops in the end.  Lets find that middle ground, stick to it and get the place open.  It will all work out so the "little red hens" can stop their "squawking" cause the sky is not falling people, it's a pizza place for heavens sake



Diane.

you may not be acquainted with the larger issue diane.  Its not just a pizza place.

Its also the Loft, and Alpha Dog restaurant, and Black Sheep, and Kickbacks, and the Salty Fig, and Guzzlepipes and Guttyworks, and......Jim Love's attempt to squash all new small business development in the neighborhood by passing ordinances that design businesses whose parameters have been dreamed up by people who know literally nothing about the businesses that they want to regulate.

And of course, its about the lengths to which this group of people are willing to go.

As in their bullying and subsequent firing of Sean Kelly for disagreeing with them.

Pinky

December 05, 2012, 08:23:01 PM
Josh, most Avondale residents don't see the shops of Avondale as Holy ground.  LOL  They are lovely to have, make no mistake about it, but the idea that residents of Avondale are all against a pizza shop because the community is just to good for them is inaccurate.  What is behind every objection to the new business is some sort of fear and when people are fearful, they don't negotiate or listen well much of the time. The list of fears goes something like this.  Fear of change, fear of parking loss, fear of more parking on surrounding streets, fear of lost income on the part of other businesses and restaurants, fear of alcohol, fear of noise and fear of lost ambiance.  I am sure I could name more if I thought about it. 

As someone who has worked in both the areas of historic preservation and commercial revitalization a few things are glaringly apparent.  First is that all this drama over a new shop is over the top and not needed.  Secondly, you can bet your sweet bippy the MM pizza shop "will" come to Avondale in one form or another.  They have followed the rules, are not breaking laws and have tried to comply with area residents. This can become a long drawn out pissing match and legal battle or people can decide to move forward together in an amicable way.  Moving forward in an amicable way is the way out of this mess.  I feel that many just don't realize that if they can speak and listen with reason, all the what if's can be worked through and end up with an improvement to the shops and the area.  The shops and the neighborhood will go on as they have now for many more years to come and you can bet that the businesses will change, grow, succeed and fail as they always have regardless of what people fear may or may not happen.  On that note, I would simply ask that while this discussion continues that the entire community and it's residents not be verbally trashed in the process or because of the actions of a few.  Avondale is full of good, happy and down to earth people and businesses that should not be hurt because of this drama.  I hope that all who have fought on both sides tooth and nail over this will stop the drama, it is really time to grow up on all sides. 

Yes MM is a franchise, but what amazes me is that some in the shops who fear the competition or added traffic just don't see that having this well known franchise will be a financial draw to other restaurants and businesses.  The pizza chain has name recognition and that alone can bring new people and new patrons to the shops that will in turn enrich the pockets of other businesses in our little town.  The restaurants all offer venues different enough that someone who may come to the shops once for pizza may return another day to go to the brick or have breakfast at the Fox.  Others who would come for the pizza will find and array of really cool specialty shops and patronize those. They are not seeing the forest for the trees.

The gas station is one that I frequented and patronized in order to shop and spend my money locally and help to keep a small business alive.  It was taxes that did the station in.  I know this because I had several conversations with the owner about it.  The station itself was and is wholly unattractive and pretty much everyone knows it should go away.  No, it is not historic or worth saving.  The empty station lot has however provided some needed parking and it is for this reason alone that some would rather keep the old eyesore and fight anything that will take away haphazard parking lot the station has now become. 

The residents near the shops do know that it means they will deal with a bit more noise and parking congestion.  Some bristle at the thought, but I don't think anyone held their heels to the fire and made them buy homes where they did.  While they can expect some relief from noise, waste disposal and the like, moaning and groaning that the business will prove to be an imposition does not really wash as they have always had these issues to deal with.  If they can't stand it any longer than relocate to another area of Avondale or Jacksonville.  There is just too much bellyaching going on by some who have know the dynamic of his area for ages.  Get over it.


Lady, I gotta be honest with you; you're wrong.  Not just a little wrong, you're Very Wrong. 

First off, you're wrong about "both sides being intractable"; Anyone who has followed this story from the beginning knows that Valentino has *continuously* looked for a cooperative and collaborative solution to the concerns being brought by the Avondale Porch Nazis.  But no matter how much he's given, it's never enough, and the reason is because the "neighborhood concerns" are being whipped up to provide cover for the real motives, which are fear of competition and nothing more.  This poor bastard just tried to open a f-ing PIZZA JOINT and ended up with a Major Jerkaround.  So no, Diane, both sides are NOT being intractable, just one.

Secondly, you're wrong about "MM should have not participated" in the Avondale event; Are other non-merchants-association businesses and property owners expected to shutter their businesses while the Merchants Association has their shindig, or just MM?  Lets face it, the Porch Nazis just got their Depends in a wad because any sign of MM actually *occupying* their own property is highly troubling to them, but that's not a valid reason for Valentino to pass on an opportunity to give something back to the huge number of Avondalians who are happy that he's coming to The Shoppes. 

Finally, and it's sort of ancillary to the topic at hand, but it does substantiate how wrong you persist in being and so I'll bring it up; Judd didn't go out of business because of "the taxes".  Judd went out of business because Judd *sucked* as a mechanic.  Then he lost his ability to sell gasoline because he couldn't come up with the money to bring his old leaky underground storage tanks into compliance with modern regulations, and having no repair customers, had to close the place up.  So unless there's a Crap Mechanic Tax, or a Poor Business Decisions Surcharge that I'm unaware of, you persist in wrongness.



Cheshire Cat

December 05, 2012, 08:36:03 PM
You are correct Stephen.  I have not delved into all the ins and outs of this deal or the others like the Loft, Alpha Dog etc. and am speaking to this thread issue only as opposed to all the other things like ordinances etc which are so often problematic if not downright obstructive.  I do know what MM is and personally I don't see the threat others do in their presence in Avondale.  The restaurant will do just fine, draw good folks and customers for all the businesses.  I believe MM will be good neighbors given the chance, but they must be given a chance.  :)  My point is that this is a restaurant with a bar like others in this town and in the shops of Avondale, not the end of the world nor something that should have become such a divisive issue.   Your comments in some ways support my own views which are that overall getting things done in Jacksonville is far more difficult than it need be.  As for Jim Love I have no idea what his agenda is.



Diane M.

Cheshire Cat

December 05, 2012, 08:44:02 PM
That is your view Pinky and you are welcome to it as you well know.  :) 

I have already stated, I would have done things differently with regard to the Christmas event because of the PR hazard it presented.  That is just my take on the situation, it does not make it right or wrong, just my view.  At this point my sole wish is for people to cut the BS and get down to positive business as opposed to playing games and verbally trashing someone who simply wants to do business in Avondale.  At the same time there is nothing to be served by verbally trashing the area, it's residents or businesses either.

I take it Pinky you are a supporter of MM and as such your responding in angst to my words suggests you somehow feel I am saying MM players could have or should do anything differently in negotiating with the community for the restaurant location. I don't. However if you take a breath and re read, my posts you may understand that I don't see the threat this restaurant poses. I believe they will be in the shops and will be good for the area.  I think they have dealt legally and fairly and had the right to be at the Christmas event.  I would have made a different choice about the Christmas event, but must tell you I am clearly not as emotionally attached to this issue as others are and I think the emotions are making the situation more complex and confused than it need be.  The point underlying it all however is this crazy idea I have that grown ups should act like grownups and not pretentious, bickering children.

By the way, I did sign my name on all my posting.  It's Diane Melendez, not "Lady".  Kindly remember that in the future please. Thank you in advance for that courtesy :)



Diane M.

Cliffs_Daughter

December 05, 2012, 09:53:13 PM
Where are you at these days, Cliffs_Daughter?

Hey, Lake - I'm in Columbus OH now. Been here since April.

thelakelander

December 05, 2012, 10:12:02 PM
Nice.  I was pretty impressed with Short North when I drove through there this past July.

stephendare

December 05, 2012, 11:31:44 PM
You are correct Stephen.  I have not delved into all the ins and outs of this deal or the others like the Loft, Alpha Dog etc. and am speaking to this thread issue only as opposed to all the other things like ordinances etc which are so often problematic if not downright obstructive.  I do know what MM is and personally I don't see the threat others do in their presence in Avondale.  The restaurant will do just fine, draw good folks and customers for all the businesses.  I believe MM will be good neighbors given the chance, but they must be given a chance.  :)  My point is that this is a restaurant with a bar like others in this town and in the shops of Avondale, not the end of the world nor something that should have become such a divisive issue.  Your comments in some ways support my own views which are that overall getting things done in Jacksonville is far more difficult than it need be.  As for Jim Love I have no idea what his agenda is.



Diane M.

You are correct Diane, I have accurately explained the kind of hijinks that makes getting things done very difficult in this city.

This small cadre of people have been interconnected throughout each of these issues, and they have the backing of several of the key positions within a few of the neighborhood groups.

And considering the lack of progress for a city of such great potential it is often quite necessary to expose the internal working for what they are before progress can be made.

At the core of this is a very important issue, and that is what exactly defines 'walkability' and whether or not the historic neighborhoods of Jacksonville should continue favoring automobile centered developments at the expense both of density and the historic fabric.

The group behind the We Love Avondale favors this latter approach and this particular chapter of this conflict is what we are watching at hand.

Luckily I know that you understand these processes as a result of the often contentious stances taken by Jax Out Loud, and my intention in my previous posts was merely to let you know that this has been a continuing conversation with this group, which has been met with the benefit of the doubt by most of the players involved until these recent events in which their basic lack of good faith has been so hideously exposed---it wasnt to contradict you.  My apologies for the terse sounding tone of my attempts to do so, please believe me when I blame a limited ability to post on the forum earlier today and having to hammer out comments with very very abbreviated time in which to do so. ;)

stephendare

December 05, 2012, 11:32:47 PM
besides, at the heart of the legislation that this group of jackanapes has produced is one of your oldest and most cherished people:  Adam Hollingsworth. ;)

02roadking

December 06, 2012, 07:08:49 AM
If WLA or anyone else did not want anything of substance at the gas station property, they had ample opportunity to purchase the parcel for whatever they deemed appropriate.

strider

December 06, 2012, 08:13:35 AM
What some are not picking up on here is that if Mellow Mushroom had not been at the event, WLA would be using the lack of participation to show that they are right and MM does not care about the community.  Not participating in the event would have been a worse PR issue than having someone, probably WLA supporters, call in ABT.  While with a playground bully,  knocking them down a time or two will solve the problem, with the type of bully that is WLA you need to stand your ground, take their best shots and remain standing.  This works only because bullies like WLA depend on lies and deceit to get what they want, therefore, by standing strong with the truth of things, you can survive and then prosper.  MM seems like they are doing just fine.

Adam W

December 06, 2012, 09:35:14 AM
There is an awful lot of conjecture in this thread which has been accepted as fact by many, if not most, of us. We'd probably do well to take a step back and tone down the rhetoric a bit. I think I agree with that part of Diane's point. And I think it applies to my own posts as much as anyone else's.

stephendare

December 06, 2012, 09:41:04 AM
There is an awful lot of conjecture in this thread which has been accepted as fact by many, if not most, of us. We'd probably do well to take a step back and tone down the rhetoric a bit. I think I agree with that part of Diane's point. And I think it applies to my own posts as much as anyone else's.

meh.

one side has already been overly civil, told the truth, given room for the other side to have input.  However, as the actions of the past week (to be continued at a public meeting this saturday that is already been heavily phone treed and ratcheted up by the cretins at WLA) make evident, the five or six hearties that drive WLA arent going to be going all civil within the forseeable future.

And while the discussion on metrojacksonville has been spicier than our normal debate, it certainly has not risen to the level where tempers have flared or unforgiveable words have been spoken. 

We remain (as always) a civil, though at times provocative discussion.

MEGATRON

December 06, 2012, 09:42:16 AM
MEGATRON - I'd like to know your source on the fact that MM was denied an opportunity to speak at a RAP board meeting, and that WLA was invited to speak. If you'd rather PM me, that's fine.

I ask this because as most people know, I'm on the RAP board, as well as the MJ board. For obvious reasons, I've kept out of the discussion on this subject. Further, I'm certainly not speaking here as part of the RAP board, but as a private citizen.

If you'd like to discuss further, please don't hesitate to write back or PM me.
Steve, did you look into this?  If I am wrong, I would like to know. 

stephendare

December 06, 2012, 09:42:40 AM
btw adam.  Are you still in London?  Thinking of visiting the city in late January.

buckethead

December 06, 2012, 09:43:04 AM
Interesting reading. I love when Diane chimes in. So bright.

I do have one little analogy to make, which is in contradiction to the notion that MM should have abstained from hosting the event as a PR move.

She (MM and event patronage) wore a short skirt. (Hosted an event which might be misconstrued as "showing them who's boss")

This does not give the twisted, perverted sexual predator (WLA) the right to rape (Call in ATF and jackbooted stormtroopers) her.

Intuition Ale Works

December 06, 2012, 10:05:46 AM
There is an awful lot of conjecture in this thread which has been accepted as fact by many, if not most, of us. We'd probably do well to take a step back and tone down the rhetoric a bit. I think I agree with that part of Diane's point. And I think it applies to my own posts as much as anyone else's.

meh.

one side has already been overly civil, told the truth, given room for the other side to have input.  However, as the actions of the past week (to be continued at a public meeting this saturday that is already been heavily phone treed and ratcheted up by the cretins at WLA) make evident, the five or six hearties that drive WLA arent going to be going all civil within the forseeable future.

And while the discussion on metrojacksonville has been spicier than our normal debate, it certainly has not risen to the level where tempers have flared or unforgiveable words have been spoken. 

We remain (as always) a civil, though at times provocative discussion.


What meeting?

Gators312

December 06, 2012, 10:19:38 AM
There is an awful lot of conjecture in this thread which has been accepted as fact by many, if not most, of us. We'd probably do well to take a step back and tone down the rhetoric a bit. I think I agree with that part of Diane's point. And I think it applies to my own posts as much as anyone else's.


And while the discussion on metrojacksonville has been spicier than our normal debate, it certainly has not risen to the level where tempers have flared or unforgiveable words have been spoken. 

We remain (as always) a civil, though at times provocative discussion.

I dont' think anyone in this discussion truly want to see the Shoppes fail or suffer, even though some have called for "Dongs & Bongs Warehouse" or a homeless center.   I think the point of the comments is to point out that WLA needs to realize that they can't dictate what goes there and they need to be careful what they wish for.

The "spice" as Stephen calls it is a direct response to the truly vile actions that are coming from only one side of this issue.

Should WLA and RAP and the community as a whole have input on this project?  Most definitely, but they shouldn't hold Valentino to standards that other merchants don't have to abide by, and they shouldn't bully/terrorize the planning department or any other agency employees into getting their way. 

Adam W

December 06, 2012, 01:03:55 PM
btw adam.  Are you still in London?  Thinking of visiting the city in late January.

Yes! Drop me a line if you want to meet up.

ben says

December 06, 2012, 06:26:43 PM
btw adam.  Are you still in London?  Thinking of visiting the city in late January.

Yes! Drop me a line if you want to meet up.

Cool city--what area do you live in?

Cheshire Cat

December 06, 2012, 06:58:54 PM
Stephen, do you have a list of the principals in WLA and can you tell me how and if this group is interfaced with the Avondale Merchants Org or RAP?  I believe the current head of the merchants organization is working for Ashley's is that correct, also named Diane?  Thanks much.




Diane M.

Gators312

December 06, 2012, 07:15:53 PM
Stephen, do you have a list of the principals in WLA and can you tell me how and if this group is interfaced with the Avondale Merchants Org or RAP?  I believe the current head of the merchants organization is working for Ashley's is that correct, also named Diane?  Thanks much.




Diane M.

A quick search of the Florida Department of State website for We Love Avondale LLC will give you the information you are looking for.

http://www.sunbiz.org/corinam.html



Cheshire Cat

December 06, 2012, 07:45:03 PM
Thank you Gators.

Has anyone been able to identify who it was who called and made the false report on the MM people during the Christmas event? 

This is the public information online:

 
Registered Agent Name & Address
DILLOW, EMILY K
DONAHOO & MCMENAMY PA
245 RIVERSIDE AVE - STE 450
JACKSONVILLE FL 32202 US
Manager/Member Detail
Name & Address
Title MGRM
DONAHOO, THOMAS M JR
245 RIVERSIDE AVE - STE 450
JACKSONVILLE FL 32202 US
Title MGRM
ANDERSON, MARK
245 RIVERSIDE AVE - STE 450
JACKSONVILLE FL 32202 US
Title MGRM
GRANT, ALICIA
245 RIVERSIDE AVE - STE 450
JACKSONVILLE FL 32202



Diane M.

Cheshire Cat

December 06, 2012, 09:10:05 PM
So, it appears as if WLA is a group of four principals two of whom are attorneys with Donahoo & McMenany PA way up on Riverside, outside of Avondale.  Interestingly only two of the four individuals in the founding group appear to actually live in Avondale.  According to property records Ms. Dillow lives way on the other side of the river and not in or near Avondale as does Ms. Grant who also lives no where near Avondale.  I find this particularly interesting.  Mr. Donahoo Jr., whose daddy owns the law practice  lives near the proposed MM site with Mr. Anderson at the other end of the shops both of them one house or so off the strip of shops, their interest is understandable.  I decided to check out the traffic flow and parking in the case of the two who live in Avondale and found both streets open, free of traffic with no one parked on or near these properties.  Of those who "love Avondale" only two apparently live anywhere near Avondale with the Agent of this group appearing to simply be an associate attorney of the law group.  I find this quite interesting actually and have to wonder at the interest on the parts of the two ladies in this effort.  It's one thing to want to impact what happens in an area when you actually live and own property there. It also follows that persons invested in the growth and planning of Avondale, as well as groups who follow this sort of development like Metro Jacksonville would show interest as they are all about forward thinking and growth.  It's quite another thing to present yourself via a LLC giving it the name "We Love Avondale" opposing a development here when two of the four individuals founding it are not from this area and apparently take a negative view of a planned restaurant.   Frankly as a resident and property owner in Avondale, I don't quite cotton to folks positioning themselves as protectors or spokespersons of Avondale at their own whim without the complete consensus of all the residents. Perhaps there was a meeting of concerned residents held.  If so, how were these residents notified?  I know of no one personally who knew anything about this group until they announced themselves.  Can anyone shed some light on this for me?  In any case I will be looking further into this situation. 

Perhaps these individuals will read this thread and take a moment to share with everyone their interests in Avondale and connections to the area as well as how they fear the opening of MM will impact them.  I would especially like to hear from those who don't live here. Ms. Dillon, Ms. Grace, do you own businesses here?  I hope you will all share you interest and concerns.


(Note: the above property information was taken from the COJ Property Appraisers site.  That is the basis of the info shared above.  If it is inaccurate in anyway, perhaps the principals will kindly correct any errors with updated info)



Diane M.

tufsu1

December 06, 2012, 09:51:04 PM
From Support the Shroom Facebook page

Quote
I just received word that Councilman Jim Love pulled together a formal "compromise meeting" at city hall tomorrow night. It will include the Mellow team (including a very small group of supporters) and each of the groups that filed an appeal (with a very small group of their supporters). Only about 30 people in total will be there hopefully coming to an agreement to END THIS!! I WANT A GOOD / SCRUPULOUS FAMILY RESTAURANT IN THE SHOPPES THAT DOESN'T MAKE ME FEEL GRIMY!!! Please express your support to John and team... I'll keep you posted with updates as they come in.

Cheshire Cat

December 06, 2012, 10:00:32 PM
Good, perhaps Mr. Love has been reading along, if so Mr. Love I want you to know that many of the residents of Avondale are not at all pleased with how this entire situation has been handled and as a result how our community has been portrayed.  Keep in mind that one group does not represent all of the business owners and residents and a resolution to this issue is long overdue.   Tufsu, do you know if this meeting was noticed and how the participants were chosen?


Diane Melendez

JeffreyS

December 06, 2012, 10:14:22 PM
I just hope the compromise is in the middle of the the parties original positions and not starting from MM's already compromised position.

Pinky

December 06, 2012, 10:19:16 PM

Perhaps these individuals will read this thread and take a moment to share with everyone their interests in Avondale and connections to the area as well as how they fear the opening of MM will impact them.  I would especially like to hear from those who don't live here. Ms. Dillon, Ms. Grace, do you own businesses here?  I hope you will all share you interest and concerns.




Who are Dillon and Grace?

Cheshire Cat

December 06, 2012, 10:23:03 PM
Pinky, their names appear on Florida Corporation public documents for the We Love Avondale LLC.  It's all online and I copied it in the post above.

On another note, I am glad a meeting has been called tomorrow.  I hope that Mr. Love made sure proper notifications of the meeting were made according to what is required by ordinance.  I am unsure how it is he was able to call a meeting on the issue that can exclude other members of the public.  I think the meeting in the form he called it is a good idea.  I only hope that he dotted his i's and crossed the t's so that no more problems arise.



Diane M.

Adam W

December 07, 2012, 02:35:06 AM
btw adam.  Are you still in London?  Thinking of visiting the city in late January.

Yes! Drop me a line if you want to meet up.

Cool city--what area do you live in?

Hi Ben

I just moved to Walthamstow at the end of June. It's in east London (up in the north east corner). Prior to that I had been living in Stoke Newington for about 5 years (it's in north London, but closer in and more centrally located).



Pinky

December 07, 2012, 07:02:59 AM
Pinky, their names appear on Florida Corporation public documents for the We Love Avondale LLC.  It's all online and I copied it in the post above.

On another note, I am glad a meeting has been called tomorrow.  I hope that Mr. Love made sure proper notifications of the meeting were made according to what is required by ordinance.  I am unsure how it is he was able to call a meeting on the issue that can exclude other members of the public.  I think the meeting in the form he called it is a good idea.  I only hope that he dotted his i's and crossed the t's so that no more problems arise.



Diane M.






Holy Dyslexia, Norm Crosby!  You mean "Dillow" and "Grant"?? 

Dillow is simply an associate lawyer or paralegal at Donahoo's I believe; just acting as an agent for the WLA corporate shell. I've never seen her at any of the public hearings and such, and can only assume that she's merely clerical in this process.

Alicia Grant is very well known in the WLA crowd; she's the Pinchyfaced old lady who shoehorns in that "Pissing on my orange tree/turn on the sprinklers" joke into every statement/media interview she makes, and there are a lot of them.  Also featured, glaring and hawklike, in the now-infamous TU photograph which duplicated (exactly) an earlier photograph of Valentino in front of HIS restaurant.  Based on her statements, and the premise of her worn-out "Orange Tree" routine, she lives immediately adjacent to the shoppes, in a house that features a Urine-soaked Orange Tree.

ChriswUfGator

December 07, 2012, 09:14:36 AM

stephendare

December 07, 2012, 09:59:45 AM


I can't decide if she looks more like Mrs. Drysdale from the Beverly Hillbillies


or Bea Arthur from Maude:

Non-RedNeck Westsider

December 07, 2012, 10:03:10 AM


I can't decide if she looks more like Mrs. Drysdale from the Beverly Hillbillies


or Bea Arthur from Maude:


Hahaha, I was think more......  Nathan Lane from 'The Birdcage'.....

ben says

December 07, 2012, 10:18:54 AM
^ hahaha classic

Gators312

December 07, 2012, 10:55:33 AM
According to Support the 'Shroom facebook page:


"We have a reporter over here asking questions about a backlash against the businesses and groups that support "We Love Avondale LLC" and oppose MM Avondale. If any of you have decided not to patronize certain business in Avondale, or not to take out or renew RAP membership, say, because of their opposition to MM, please PM me here at Support the Shroom."

Dog Walker

December 07, 2012, 01:13:54 PM
Alicia Grant is actually more like Maude than Bea Arthur; tough-minded, smart and determined.  She's a serious opponent and not someone who do something for frivolous reasons.

Cheshire Cat

December 07, 2012, 01:18:03 PM
Why is she involved in this DW?   Property records show she owns a place that is nowhere near Avondale.  Did she move over here recently? 



Diane

buckethead

December 07, 2012, 01:21:23 PM
Nice, DW...

Jim Rome does a pretty silly sports radio talk show. One of his rules is no smack talk based on someone's appearence.

As an example of this, someone will email in a fat joke about a particular sports figure... Jim Rome might read it... then say he isn't going to read that garbage on air... (after he read it, of course)

MetroJacksonville can at least rise to the standard of not making fun of people's appearance. We are better than this, although it is tempting when you find yourself at odds with someone on a particular issue.

She's human... Has family... People love her. Let's do better.

*dismounts hypocritical high horse*

Cheshire Cat

December 07, 2012, 01:28:13 PM
Bucket, other than something to do with orange trees and relieving oneself what is Ms. Grants main complaint about the restaurant and why does it bother her so much if she does not live here?   I ask this because when one is involved in an effort that plays to so much angst and discord in a community they should have a darn good reason for being involved in the issue.  If she has moved near the shops that is a different situation but at the same time if she has, she would have well known it was a commercial area.  Someone enlighten me here. 


Diane

stephendare

December 07, 2012, 01:35:36 PM
Nice, DW...

Jim Rome does a pretty silly sports radio talk show. One of his rules is no smack talk based on someone's appearence.

As an example of this, someone will email in a fat joke about a particular sports figure... Jim Rome might read it... then say he isn't going to read that garbage on air... (after he read it, of course)

MetroJacksonville can at least rise to the standard of not making fun of people's appearance. We are better than this, although it is tempting when you find yourself at odds with someone on a particular issue.

She's human... Has family... People love her. Let's do better.

*dismounts hypocritical high horse*

Well I don't know that I was commenting really on her appearance so much as the characterizations of the actresses.  Silly scheming busybody about to faint from mixing with the hillibillies next door, or tough old biddy thats ready to take you to the mat was more of what I was going for.

Gators312

December 07, 2012, 01:38:40 PM
Bucket, other than something to do with orange trees and relieving oneself what is Ms. Grants main complaint about the restaurant and why does it bother her so much if she does not live here?   I ask this because when one is involved in an effort that plays to so much angst and discord in a community they should have a darn good reason for being involved in the issue.  If she has moved near the shops that is a different situation but at the same time if she has, she would have well known it was a commercial area.  Someone enlighten me here. 


Diane

It looks as if Ms. Grant owns property @

3575 RIVERSIDE AVE
Jacksonville FL 32205

http://apps.coj.net/pao_propertySearch/Basic/Detail.aspx?RE=0920430000

buckethead

December 07, 2012, 01:45:59 PM
Nice, DW...

Jim Rome does a pretty silly sports radio talk show. One of his rules is no smack talk based on someone's appearence.

As an example of this, someone will email in a fat joke about a particular sports figure... Jim Rome might read it... then say he isn't going to read that garbage on air... (after he read it, of course)

MetroJacksonville can at least rise to the standard of not making fun of people's appearance. We are better than this, although it is tempting when you find yourself at odds with someone on a particular issue.

She's human... Has family... People love her. Let's do better.

*dismounts hypocritical high horse*

Well I don't know that I was commenting really on her appearance so much as the characterizations of the actresses.  Silly scheming busybody about to faint from mixing with the hillibillies next door, or tough old biddy thats ready to take you to the mat was more of what I was going for.
I didn't mean that for you, Stephen, but for all of us, myself included. I was ready to do what I do best... insult and demean.  Your intent was clear to me.

thelakelander

December 07, 2012, 01:50:59 PM
Alicia Grant is actually more like Maude than Bea Arthur; tough-minded, smart and determined.  She's a serious opponent and not someone who do something for frivolous reasons.
This is the person who sent the email quoted in the beginning of this thread.

cline

December 07, 2012, 01:56:32 PM
Quote
what is Ms. Grants main complaint about the restaurant and why does it bother her so much if she does not live here?

Alicia Grant does live in Riverside.

Gators312

December 07, 2012, 02:02:18 PM
According to Mr. Field: "The underlying zoning (CCG-1, which allows for the sale of beer and wine by right) of the property allowed for such use and all of the proper and legal paperwork was in order which allowed for this charity event to take place. "

According to Ms. Grant: “When you visit Christmas in Avondale this evening (because of course you will!) , you may notice the food truck on the old garage parcel.   Brought into the event by John Valentino, this addition to Christmas in Avondale is over the objection of the President of the Avondale Merchant’s Association.   This is not the addition of a merchant in the Shoppes to the event – the food truck is not Mellow Mushroom but Burrito Brothers, a restaurant located downtown – and the sale of beer on this property is not permitted under the zoning.

Is Ms. Grant just mistaken?  Poorly informed?  Or the "front man" for the organization so that any lies can be pinned to her and keep the attorneys who are principals clean?



   

Cheshire Cat

December 07, 2012, 02:05:07 PM
Okay, I dug deeper into this and find Ms. Grant seems to live in a small bungalow just up the street from myself actually, on the other side of the park.  Her home sits one street over from the shops but not in a location which should impact her via noise, lights etc.  Her location however does not seem one likely to be impacted by parking issues or traffic.  So I don't get the beef here.  I do find that she appears with a J. Donahoo and on her own on a number of properties in the 32204 area code up in Riverside none of which would be impacted by this restaurant.   It is looking more and more like this is a situation where a handful of folks who opposed one persons restaurant idea decided to dig in and try to prevent that restaurant.  The LLC deal just made it more official looking and perhaps easier  to organize others who opposed the restaurant.  I personally think it was "overkill" and intended in some ways to intimidate or give the perception of power.  The action created factitious disorder in my view when in fact those who opposed the restaurant could have spoken to their concerns independently and been effective.  I was want to understand this WLA group but now it is clear the core is key to the Donahoo family and Grant connection and the greatest angst is the fact that from the side of the Thomas Donahoo property one can look down the street to the empty garage location that MM want's to fill.  Again I don't get the real problem here.  How is a functioning restaurant worse than looking at a derelict garage with vehicles parked around it?  Clearly there was more traffic created by an operating gas station so really, what's the problem?   The thing about claiming that the restaurant would cause more traffic or parking issues doesn't wash in my view.  If the complaint is that the restaurant will bring more people than I am beyond baffled because bringing more people to the shops should be nothing but an exciting asset for all business owners.  Regarding parking, at the very worst, for the couple of lunchtime hours there could be more folks looking to park somewhere, but that is mid day.  In the evenings, most shops are closed and there is no parking problem when it comes to patronizing the restaurants.  As far as noise issues, all those in the core WLA group would appear to be equally effected by the activity at the Brick and I don't see them calling on that successful business to leave.   The proponents and opponents have had their say.  The MM people are within their rights to open the restaurant and I don't see as how the actions of WLA are promoting any "love" for Avondale.  All I see here is dissent and divisiveness where there need have been none.  IMO



Diane M.

MEGATRON

December 07, 2012, 02:08:22 PM


Is Ms. Grant just mistaken?  Poorly informed?  Or the "front man" for the organization so that any lies can be pinned to her and keep the attorneys who are principals clean?

 
Or she just makes up stuff and sees what will stick.

thelakelander

December 07, 2012, 02:13:47 PM
Again I don't get the real problem here.

Seems like a classic power struggle to me.  However, as long as MM abides by the law, there's not much opponents can do to keep them from coming to the gas station site.

JHAT76

December 07, 2012, 02:13:55 PM
Okay, I dug deeper into this and find Ms. Grant seems to live in a small bungalow just up the street from myself actually, on the other side of the park.  Her home sits one street over from the shops but not in a location which should impact her via noise, lights etc.  Her location however does not seem one likely to be impacted by parking issues or traffic.  So I don't get the beef here.  I do find that she appears with a J. Donahoo and on her own on a number of properties in the 32204 area code up in Riverside none of which would be impacted by this restaurant.   It is looking more and more like this is a situation where a handful of folks who opposed one persons restaurant idea decided to dig in and try to prevent that restaurant.  The LLC deal just made it more official looking and perhaps easier than to organize others who opposed the restaurant.  I personally think it was "overkill" and intended in some ways to intimidate or give the perception of power.  The action created factitious disorder in my view when in fact those who opposed the restaurant could have spoken to their concerns independently and been effective.  I was want to understand this WLA group but now it is clear the core is key to the Donahoo family and Grant connection and the greatest angst is the fact that from the side of the Thomas Donahoo property one can look down the street to the empty garage location that MM want's to fill.  Again I am don't get the real problem here.  How is a functioning restaurant worse than looking at a derelict garage with vehicles parked around it.  Clearly there was more traffic created by an operating gas station so really, what's the beef here?   The thing about claiming that the restaurant would cause more traffic or parking issues doesn't wash in my view.  At the worst, for the couple of lunchtime hours there could be more folks looking to park, but that is mid day.  In the evenings, most shops are closed and there is no parking problem when it comes to patronizing the restaurants.  As far as noise issues, all those in the core WLA group would appear to be equally effected by the activity at the Brick and I don't see them calling on that successful business to leave.  The proponents and opponents have had their say.  The MM people are within their rights to open the restaurant and I don't see as how the actions of WLA are promoting and "love" for Avondale.  All I see here is dissent and divisiveness where there need have been none.  IMO


Diane M.

I live right down the street on Riverside.  Closer to Boone Park.  It can get crowded on Riverside.  However this whole issue fails to address that any parking issues will not go away if Mellow Mushroom doesn't come.  Residents and Homeowners use the majority of the street.  On my block we have two houses with 3 - 4 cars for 3 licensed drivers, another with 3 - 4 cars for 2 licensed drivers.  All mainly on the street.  We have 2 multi family rentals that when built back in the day were designed as single family with 0 - 1 autos, but now have 3 - 4 cars for each.  Why is no one pressuring landlords to build parking for renters if so concerned with parking?

Its amusing that the worries about how emergency vehicles can get through the neighborhood vanish when Luminara time, Avondale 5K, or Xmas in Avondale rolls around.  But hey The Merchants approve of these events so they are OK.   


Cheshire Cat

December 07, 2012, 02:30:27 PM
Okay, I dug deeper into this and find Ms. Grant seems to live in a small bungalow just up the street from myself actually, on the other side of the park.  Her home sits one street over from the shops but not in a location which should impact her via noise, lights etc.  Her location however does not seem one likely to be impacted by parking issues or traffic.  So I don't get the beef here.  I do find that she appears with a J. Donahoo and on her own on a number of properties in the 32204 area code up in Riverside none of which would be impacted by this restaurant.   It is looking more and more like this is a situation where a handful of folks who opposed one persons restaurant idea decided to dig in and try to prevent that restaurant.  The LLC deal just made it more official looking and perhaps easier than to organize others who opposed the restaurant.  I personally think it was "overkill" and intended in some ways to intimidate or give the perception of power.  The action created factitious disorder in my view when in fact those who opposed the restaurant could have spoken to their concerns independently and been effective.  I was want to understand this WLA group but now it is clear the core is key to the Donahoo family and Grant connection and the greatest angst is the fact that from the side of the Thomas Donahoo property one can look down the street to the empty garage location that MM want's to fill.  Again I am don't get the real problem here.  How is a functioning restaurant worse than looking at a derelict garage with vehicles parked around it.  Clearly there was more traffic created by an operating gas station so really, what's the beef here?   The thing about claiming that the restaurant would cause more traffic or parking issues doesn't wash in my view.  At the worst, for the couple of lunchtime hours there could be more folks looking to park, but that is mid day.  In the evenings, most shops are closed and there is no parking problem when it comes to patronizing the restaurants.  As far as noise issues, all those in the core WLA group would appear to be equally effected by the activity at the Brick and I don't see them calling on that successful business to leave.  The proponents and opponents have had their say.  The MM people are within their rights to open the restaurant and I don't see as how the actions of WLA are promoting and "love" for Avondale.  All I see here is dissent and divisiveness where there need have been none.  IMO


Diane M.

I live right down the street on Riverside.  Closer to Boone Park.  It can get crowded on Riverside.  However this whole issue fails to address that any parking issues will not go away if Mellow Mushroom doesn't come.  Residents and Homeowners use the majority of the street.  On my block we have two houses with 3 - 4 cars for 3 licensed drivers, another with 3 - 4 cars for 2 licensed drivers.  All mainly on the street.  We have 2 multi family rentals that when built back in the day were designed as single family with 0 - 1 autos, but now have 3 - 4 cars for each.  Why is no one pressuring landlords to build parking for renters if so concerned with parking?

Its amusing that the worries about how emergency vehicles can get through the neighborhood vanish when Luminara time, Avondale 5K, or Xmas in Avondale rolls around.  But hey The Merchants approve of these events so they are OK.   





Exactly JHat.  The parking problems have been around for such a long time.  As you point out it appears some can be selective when it comes to when and where traffic is okay.  lol   Avondale is not full of elitist "fuddy duddies" as the actions of a few would make it appear.  There are plenty of open minded, forward thinking folks and families here.  This whole issue as I stated some time back in the thread has been driven by fears and what if's that do not seem to have any real basis considering the reality that shops are a commercial core, have been for  ages and one new restaurant is not going to make or break the neighborhood.  A lot of fear and some selfish agenda's have combined to make a mess that does not reflect well on Avondale, the shops or Jacksonville. 


Diane M.

Cheshire Cat

December 07, 2012, 04:07:26 PM
At five pm about an hour from now a closed "mediation" meeting will take place called by councilman Jim Love.  As things stand, the meeting is an effort to close the gap in understanding between some of the involved and interested parties.  While the meeting may or may not resolve some folks issues, the process for Mellow Mushroom is still underway in the planning department and moving forward.  Bottom line is that special interests cannot override lawful and legal process.  MM has followed the rules at every stage and no valid reason has been found to deny the MM project.  Opponents need to turn down the rhetoric as well as supports and step away from all the boycott nonsense etc.  This deal is moving forward.  Time for people to sit back and let the process finish itself according to rules and law.  Simply not liking or wanting a certain restaurant is not grounds by any stretch of the imagination to legally stop the restaurant from opening.



Diane M.

cline

December 07, 2012, 05:47:36 PM
Quote
special interests cannot override lawful and legal process

That's hilarious.  Thanks for the laugh.

Intuition Ale Works

December 07, 2012, 06:00:18 PM


Just got kicked out of the Mellow Mushroom/WLA "compromise" meeting.

John Valentino invited me to attend and Alicia Grant asked that we leave because we do not have a "dog in the fight"

We voluntarily left.

Will be interesting to see what comes of the meeting.

stephendare

December 07, 2012, 06:04:56 PM


Just got kicked out of the Mellow Mushroom/WLA "compromise" meeting.

John Valentino invited me to attend and Alicia Grant asked that we leave because we do not have a "dog in the fight"

We voluntarily left.

Will be interesting to see what comes of the meeting.

As a fellow businessman you have just as much of a dog as she does.

I would have thanked her for her concern and stayed.  But then Im kind of stubborn that way.

Intuition Ale Works

December 07, 2012, 06:25:36 PM


Just got kicked out of the Mellow Mushroom/WLA "compromise" meeting.

John Valentino invited me to attend and Alicia Grant asked that we leave because we do not have a "dog in the fight"

We voluntarily left.

Will be interesting to see what comes of the meeting.

As a fellow businessman you have just as much of a dog as she does.

I would have thanked her for her concern and stayed.  But then Im kind of stubborn that way.

I agree. Just did not want to be a distraction and Alicia Grant had a look that was very scary...

I do not think much is going to come of the meeting anyway.

stephendare

December 07, 2012, 06:26:28 PM

Alicia Grant upon realizing that dogless fighter, Ben from Intuition has been invited by someone else to the tea and sympathy mixer.

stephendare

December 07, 2012, 06:28:32 PM
From the Department of '!0 Minutes before We Love Avondale LLC was formed" :


"Thats right, Mrs. Grant.  The whole family will be coming to avondale for pizza now!"

Florida had no way of knowing how fateful that single sentence would prove to be....

Cheshire Cat

December 07, 2012, 06:31:59 PM
Cline, I know that some have special interest pull and it is often used in this city.  I should have said "in this instance" they will not override the lawful process.  I am pretty confident about that now.  After doing some further checking and making a series of inquiries I have found that while some of these folks can kick up a fuss, they are not influencing this process to the degree they hoped they would.  That is a good thing in this case I believe.  ;)




Diane

Cheshire Cat

December 07, 2012, 06:34:24 PM
Intuition, You should not have left the meeting as you were invited to participate by one of the principals in this issue.  I can tell you I am not at all pleased with the attitude of Ms. Grant.  Neither she or WLA have exclusive rights or interest in this project.  By her logic, no one should have been in the meeting if they did not own property or a business in Avondale.  I intend to find out who was in attendance and how it was decided who was allowed in and who wasn't.



Diane

stephendare

December 07, 2012, 06:35:25 PM
Intuition, You should not have left the meeting as you were invited to participate by one of the principals in this issue. 



Diane

99.9% of the time I love Diane. ;)

Cheshire Cat

December 07, 2012, 06:50:04 PM
Ben, I have just left a message for Jim Love inquiring who was chairing the meeting, him or Ms. Grant?  I am asking for clarification and by what right does one resident have her will override the invite given another individual by Mr. Valentino? Was Mr. Love aware of the fact she asked you to leave?  I am afraid Ms. Grant has started pissing on my orange tree as she apparently likes to say!  She does not speak for Avondale residents, property and business owners and she better come to that realization right quick. She speaks for one person and that is herself.



Diane


KEGreene1

December 07, 2012, 09:14:07 PM
I too was asked to leave.  I believe Ms. Grant looked at a printed copy of this thread and didn't appreciate her "pictures".  Ben is correct that she said we didn't have a dog in the fight.  I objected and was told I wasn't part of an objected party.

I am a member of this community and prominently involved in many organizations.  I am a former service member and business owner.  We were also told that "we don't know these individuals and don't know if they understand what a mediation means".  I understand the "cone of silence".  I found it funny that they would kick Ben and myself out and not make us stay (and thereby stifling us).

Gators312

December 07, 2012, 10:08:40 PM
Intuition, You should not have left the meeting as you were invited to participate by one of the principals in this issue.  I can tell you I am not at all pleased with the attitude of Ms. Grant.  Neither she or WLA have exclusive rights or interest in this project.  By her logic, no one should have been in the meeting if they did not own property or a business in Avondale.  I intend to find out who was in attendance and how it was decided who was allowed in and who wasn't.


It's this attitude by Ms. Grant and her cronies that is so dangerous.  Do they not realize that this type of interference sets a bad precedent for Jacksonville's future development and that is what so many people are upset about?  It's not about having a pizza place or not, it's about a business being able to open up under the current set of zoning laws (including laws that allow for variances and exemptions) that are in place without a VERY SMALL group of individuals dictating their own standards just because they choose to pull some well connected strings and throw down a little cash to their attorneys.    This is where everyone in Jacksonville has a dog in this fight.  If WLA and their ilk get their way what stops this same tactic from being employed elsewhere in the city? 

It truly is an embarrassment to think that a City Councilmen would allow himself to be led around by the nose by these people, but it sure seems as if Jim Love has signed up to be their lap dog, if he called a meeting but allows Alicia Grant to dictate the guest list.

Their underhanded politics, lies, and misrepresentations are what have caused this issue to become so contentious for people inside and outside the neighborhood.  It's what has caused people throughout the city to take notice to come to the support of Mellow Mushroom.   I think once it's all said and done there are a few merchants and residents who will end up with egg on their faces and urine on their orange trees....

Cheshire Cat

December 07, 2012, 10:38:11 PM
KFGreen, Was councilman Jim Love aware that she had asked you to leave?  I will indeed be following up on all of this with the councilman and will make sure to get some resolution.  There is no way on the good Lords green earth any individual citizen has the right to stifle another, especially if that person was asked to be present by one of the principals in this situation. That is unacceptable in any form.  I want to make sure I have my facts straight with regard to who said what to whom, which is why I want to speak with the councilman myself and get his take on how this meeting was managed.  This entire situation and resulting upset and confusion was not only unnecessary but harmful to our community and how Avondale and it's citizens are being viewed because of it.  I promise you I am not a happy camper over all of this and how it continues to unfold.  It's truly obscene that someone trying to open a business here would be treated so badly and even more upsetting to me that a group of folks have decided that they will in some ways become the voice for the rest of us here.  That just isn't going to fly with me and several other residents.  Ms. Grant has overplayed her hand.  I can promise all of you, if I find out there has been any type of backdoor shenanigans or deal making I will pursue the situation much more aggressively and make certain that all parties are playing by the rules. 

Ms. Grant, you have overstepped your bounds here and many of us do not care for it one bit and we "are" your neighbors!  You are a single voice and not representative of the whole of Avondale. I also hope it is simply a rumor that a well known eating establishment which I often frequent is at all culpable in these goings on.  I would be greatly disappointed to hear that.  Now folks are at each others throats, talking about boycotts and the like upsetting many in the community.  I love our little shops and have visited and patronized them for years to keep small business afloat and our community vibrant. Many of the shop owners have seen my son grow up for heaven sakes.  All this nonsense is doing now is causing confusion and hurt feelings.  You have every right to voice your own concerns but so does everyone else in the community.  I don't think you and the WLA group actually realize the damage you are doing and the divisiveness that pursuing your own agenda has resulted in.  It  has caused great upset in Avondale where it need never have happened and it needs to end now.  This is a community of many and not the playground of a few chosen individuals.  Apparently some individuals need to be reminded of that fact.


Diane Melendez

Cheshire Cat

December 07, 2012, 10:44:28 PM
Intuition, You should not have left the meeting as you were invited to participate by one of the principals in this issue.  I can tell you I am not at all pleased with the attitude of Ms. Grant.  Neither she or WLA have exclusive rights or interest in this project.  By her logic, no one should have been in the meeting if they did not own property or a business in Avondale.  I intend to find out who was in attendance and how it was decided who was allowed in and who wasn't.


It's this attitude by Ms. Grant and her cronies that is so dangerous.  Do they not realize that this type of interference sets a bad precedent for Jacksonville's future development and that is what so many people are upset about?  It's not about having a pizza place or not, it's about a business being able to open up under the current set of zoning laws (including laws that allow for variances and exemptions) that are in place without a VERY SMALL group of individuals dictating their own standards just because they choose to pull some well connected strings and throw down a little cash to their attorneys.    This is where everyone in Jacksonville has a dog in this fight.  If WLA and their ilk get their way what stops this same tactic from being employed elsewhere in the city? 

It truly is an embarrassment to think that a City Councilmen would allow himself to be led around by the nose by these people, but it sure seems as if Jim Love has signed up to be their lap dog, if he called a meeting but allows Alicia Grant to dictate the guest list.

Their underhanded politics, lies, and misrepresentations are what have caused this issue to become so contentious for people inside and outside the neighborhood.  It's what has caused people throughout the city to take notice to come to the support of Mellow Mushroom.   I think once it's all said and done there are a few merchants and residents who will end up with egg on their faces and urine on their orange trees....


You are correct about the attitude and much of the unneeded confrontation and dialog.  This situation has become a picture in time that clearly shows attitudes and behaviors that hold the entire community of Jacksonville hostage and why we are viewed (and often view ourselves) so poorly.  Not having it. 



Diane

Spence

December 08, 2012, 02:48:28 AM
Sadly Mr.Spinks has passed on, and now the event has been changing for years.

Who here would be vehemently opposed to a long looping hayride parade style, incorporating  floats through Fairfax Herschel Park, the Ortega Marinas, FYC, TCC, then along the right lane noth bound US17 Roosevelt to a left on Edgewood into MurrayHill, to Downtown through Post Street and Riverside to Springfield by Forsyth, Pearl, Boulevard thence east to Main on 8th, south to Bay, and further south over the blue Alsop bridge into the Square in SanMarco, returning by way of the Acosta back to Stockton, College, King and back into the Shoppes?
Maybe something to consider for next year??
As of now I could donate the use of almost a dozen tractors.
Flatbeds and floats are artist creations.
I am no artist.
I count beans.

We could make it all themed like lifeboats.
make your own titanic jokes about RAP.

thelakelander

December 08, 2012, 11:18:48 AM
Does anyone have an update?

Cheshire Cat

December 08, 2012, 12:23:23 PM
Ennis,

My inbox has been buzzing with messages from people on both sides of this issue.  None of what I have found out so far changes what I have stated in previous posts.  As far as the meeting goes, I want to talk to Jim Love himself about it.  Honestly, I am not interested in the content of the discussion during that meeting as much as I am interested in the open and fair treatment of all the members of our community. I have been told by several who have contacted me who are connected to the WLA that they did not cause the situation with the food truck and MM during Christmas in Avondale but at the same time there is on record the statements of Ms. Grant about MM with the gossipy tone of "the merchant's told them" sort of thing.  All of this commentary meant to excite passion on one side of the issue.  At this point it does not matter so much who did the deed as does the outcome of that confrontation which has only made this public discussion more pointed.

I have also been told that Ms. Grant is a "nice lady" and perhaps she is, but even nice folks can create unneeded problems.  I have verified that Ms. Grant was indeed the party telling people to leave the meeting and she was out of line in doing so.  The councilman is the person responsible for calling the meeting and chairing it.  Not Ms. Grant.  I would like to hear from Mr. Love himself what the criterion for attendance was.  It is currently my understanding that this was a "mediation" meeting between the principals of MM and parties who had filed appeals of some type.  I would guess the intent was to try and resolve some of the conflicts in a gracious and fair manner.  I do not know yet however if that was the case, but do know that all sides issues will be weighed at some point as appeals must be processed.  While WLA has organized they are still just a citizen group with no greater voice in this than the next property or business owner.  I can tell you I am sure hearing a lot of bellyaching and upset.  The last thing to hit print was a piece in the local "Resident Community News" which pretty much rehashes what has been said already with the exception that the article they have in print discusses the actions and conversation of a Mr. Donahoo as strongly objecting to the project and then references the WLA website and RAP website for further information, which in my view is quite one sided.  What I do know is that the process continues, this deal is moving forward and it is in the planning department.   As I stated in one private correspondence yesterday that was citing parking and the serving of alcohol as a the problem.   The problem with using that argument is that the parking situation is not new and is old news.  Nothing has changed in that regard.  Secondly was commentary about drunks and car accidents which speaks to a much broader issue that goes beyond this situation and is really a city, state and nationwide problem. While some in the community may have been confronted with these issues, there is no valid way to prove that car accidents or drunks are the result of any particular restaurant or business.  People can drink at home or at parties and be foolish enough to get behind the wheel.  Saying one business will make that matter worse is speculation at best.   It is unfair in my view to place that problem or fear on the shoulders of a person who has yet to start up a business.  The other reality is that the Mexican restaurant in the town that was there for some time also had a bar and is now closed, so the MM project in reality would only bring back the level of alcohol availability to what it was for the past several years.  The other point brought to my attention by opponents of the MM was that alcohol service Mr. Valentino wants is a variance request and does not have to be granted.  The problem is this.  That variance has already been granted to other business in the shops and the president has already been set.  There is no valid way for the city to refuse Valentino's  request without some sort of prejudice being sighted and an ensuing legal battle which I have to say would likely be decided in MM's favor. 

As you stated earlier Ennis, this is a good old fashioned battle of wills and it has gone too far in my opinion and considering the correspondence I have received in the last two days, many residents are tired of the whole situation.  What this will come down to will be a decision about granting the variance.  Whether or not some like it, the reality is that Mr. Valentino is well within his rights as a property owner and denying his request cannot be viewed as anything other than prejudicial.   I must tell you that so far I can find no indication that any underhanded dealing is going on here but rather the age old nonsense of one group wishing that their will trumps another. 

strider

December 08, 2012, 04:54:15 PM
Quote
Cheshire Cat:
What this will come down to will be a decision about granting the variance.  Whether or not some like it, the reality is that Mr. Valentino is well within his rights as a property owner and denying his request cannot be viewed as anything other than prejudicial.

It is my understanding that the variance in question has already been granted. Nothing for the city to do here but confirm what has already been granted.  Or the city could bow to whatever "power people" are behind WLA and find in favor of the appeal and retract the approval of the variance.

As someone who has had this same kind of attack against them (though different circumstances, the real and unsaid reasons are the same), MM needs to stay it's course, stay with the facts and what is right and in the end, even some of their strongest opponents will become their best customers.

sheclown

December 09, 2012, 06:38:38 PM
The voice given to historic districts should be limited to protection of existing historic stock. 

Jacksonville should not be in the business of being an HOA for every enclave of disgruntled neighbors .  And frankly, the rest of the city should rise up and demand that they not have to foot the bill for this parade of idiocy.

Kaiser Soze

December 09, 2012, 08:17:45 PM
The voice given to historic districts should be limited to protection of existing historic stock. 

Jacksonville should not be in the business of being an HOA for every enclave of disgruntled neighbors .  And frankly, the rest of the city should rise up and demand that they not have to foot the bill for this parade of idiocy.
Here here

KEGreene1

December 09, 2012, 10:03:12 PM
One of the questions I wanted to ask was: Why does 5 points (3hr.) and San Marco (2hr.) limit their parking?  Does this this help with employee parking?  Does homes on the adjacent blocks have 3-4 cars, with some parked in the street, account for part of the issues on the streets?  Would a stricter parking policy alleviate many of the current issues, even before MM opens their doors?  Where is the parking study that Mr. Love said he was going to initiate?

My issues are: 1) I'm not too keen on people telling someone how they should run their business, while at the same time allowing the business around them to be run in a manner that is a competitive advantage.  2) The lies and self righteous behavior by those who believe the consumers don't have a dog in this fight.  I would like you to ask the owners of all the Shoppes if they could survive with only the homeowners in the adjacent blocks.

zedsdead

December 10, 2012, 11:44:26 AM
The voice given to historic districts should be limited to protection of existing historic stock. 

Jacksonville should not be in the business of being an HOA for every enclave of disgruntled neighbors .  And frankly, the rest of the city should rise up and demand that they not have to foot the bill for this parade of idiocy.

I could not agree more. The fact that RAP is repeatedly involved in forcing the destruction of existing buildings to make way for parking lots blows my mind. What's up with that? It is not an HOA, it is a PRESERVATION society.

Or am I confused about that?

Josh

December 10, 2012, 02:47:51 PM
The voice given to historic districts should be limited to protection of existing historic stock. 

Jacksonville should not be in the business of being an HOA for every enclave of disgruntled neighbors .  And frankly, the rest of the city should rise up and demand that they not have to foot the bill for this parade of idiocy.

I could not agree more. The fact that RAP is repeatedly involved in forcing the destruction of existing buildings to make way for parking lots blows my mind. What's up with that? It is not an HOA, it is a PRESERVATION society.

Or am I confused about that?

As someone pointed out in one of the other related threads; while RAP was busy fighting against MM the and Kickbacks expansion, an old home in Riverside was demolished so that a $60k home built in 2001 could have a double lot.

Intuition Ale Works

December 10, 2012, 02:55:10 PM

What house?

Josh

December 10, 2012, 03:20:30 PM
Orleans Ct and Remington. If you use the satellite overlay in Google Maps you can still see the old blue house that was on Orleans, but if you zoom in to streetview there's just a wood fence extending the backyard of the house on the corner where it once was.

I don't know any of the details that took place, but the blue house didn't look like it was in that bad of shape the last time I saw it (which must have been shortly before it was demolished judging from the April 2011 timestamp on the streetview photos). I guess preservation truly is in the eye of the beholder.

MEGATRON

December 10, 2012, 03:22:43 PM
Orleans Ct and Remington. If you use the satellite overlay in Google Maps you can still see the old blue house that was on Orleans, but if you zoom in to streetview there's just a wood fence extending the backyard of the house on the corner where it once was.

I don't know any of the details that took place, but the blue house didn't look like it was in that bad of shape the last time I saw it (which must have been shortly before it was demolished judging from the April 2011 timestamp on the streetview photos). I guess preservation truly is in the eye of the beholder.
Was it a contributing structure under the regs?

cline

December 10, 2012, 03:24:34 PM
^I believe so.  It was built in 1922 when I looked it up a while back.

fsquid

December 10, 2012, 04:22:12 PM
that house just really needed a basketball court for the kids.

Cheshire Cat

December 12, 2012, 06:36:02 PM
I have just gotten off the phone with Jim Love to discuss much of what has been said here regarding the restaurant issue in Avondale, as well as where this process currently stands.  First, Jim has agreed that if anyone had been asked to leave the meeting last week, he should have been the one asking, not one of the appellants, in this case Ms. Grant.  To use his words he said he will take the "hit" on that situation. He told me that had Ms. Grant not objected he would have let everyone stay, they just would have not been able to comment.  The "folks with standing" during these meetings according to Jim are MM and the organized groups who paid to bring an appeal. The agreement they struck regarding attendance is that MM and the appellants will be the only parties in the meetings. Any other agreements however seem to be alluding them.  Beyond that, this is where the process stands.  Mellow Mushroom did receive the variance they requested to stay open until 2:00 AM and serve hard alcohol some time back. (Which I know someone on this thread already pointed out.) It was in response to the granting of the variance that five different groups appealed that decision.  RAP, WLA and three other groups apparently made up of residents from some of the other streets in the area appealed.  The meetings called by Jim Love are an attempt to mediate the appeals and get some agreement in place to satisfy all involved so that the appeals as they stand can be dropped and the process move forward.  The next meeting is next Thursday at 2:30.  What will come of that is anyone's guess.  The next date that truly matters will be the LUZ meeting on January 5th which will be chaired by Lori Boyer.  That meeting will be on a Saturday and is expected to last for quite some time. 

Dennis

December 13, 2012, 02:04:13 PM
I live on St. Johns Avenue across from Boone park. I have lived on St. Johns Avenue and been an Avondale landlord for over thirty years. On many nights after the local bars close my tenants and I are forced awake by drunks getting into their cars, drunks playing and shouting in the park and general drunk loud ramblings. Not to mention empty beer cans, bottles and trash left behind. ( I have not noticed any pee on my trees) 
I am sure the good folks at MM mean well but I fear the size and scope of MM is just not appropriate for what has been a fine neighborhood. The additional people on the street at bar closing hours will cause even more chaos up and down the street and in the park how else can it be.

Quote: The residents near the shops do know that it means they will deal with a bit more noise and parking congestion. Some bristle at the thought, but I don't think anyone held their heels to the fire and made them buy homes where they did.

Answer: Thirty years ago when I purchased my buildings I did not visualize a half dozen bars in the neighborhood.

Quote: Perhaps these individuals will read this thread and take a moment to share with everyone their interests in Avondale and connections to the area as well as how they fear the opening of MM will impact them.

Answer:  I am not a member of WE LOVE AVONDALE but I do love Avondale and I have taken the time to share my interest in the discussion.
See above.

Quote: Why is no one pressuring landlords to build parking for renters if so concerned with parking?

Answer: I provide off street parking for ALL my tenants.

PS. I applaud Jim Love for his courage in involving himself in this controversy.

cline

December 13, 2012, 02:34:03 PM
Quote
Thirty years ago when I purchased my buildings I did not visualize a half dozen bars in the neighborhood.

So you didn't bother to read the land use codes that allow those uses?  Did you just assume that the establishments that were in Avondale 30 years ago would remain the same indefinitely?

JaxDiablo

December 13, 2012, 02:43:57 PM
Quote: The residents near the shops do know that it means they will deal with a bit more noise and parking congestion. Some bristle at the thought, but I don't think anyone held their heels to the fire and made them buy homes where they did.

Answer: Thirty years ago when I purchased my buildings I did not visualize a half dozen bars in the neighborhood.

Why then is this the only "bar" (which it isn't, it's a restaurant that serves alcohol which is very similar to the Brick, Elevated Avondale, Mojo's, Biscotti's, Blue Fish, and Casbah, but no one is trying to get them shut down or make them change their business models), that is being asked to change it's business practices when all these other organizations have established it as an acceptable business model for the area?


Quote: Perhaps these individuals will read this thread and take a moment to share with everyone their interests in Avondale and connections to the area as well as how they fear the opening of MM will impact them.

Answer:  I am not a member of WE LOVE AVONDALE but I do love Avondale and I have taken the time to share my interest in the discussion.   

So your "fine" neighborhood is already riddled with drunks getting in to their cars, playing and shouting in the park, and general drunk ramblings... So how will MM change anything aside from in your opinion possibly increase the people involved in the current status quo of the area?  Maybe with all the private parking they will be providing you will actually get less of what you're dealing with because they will be getting into their cars theoretically right in front of and behind the establishment they are visiting instead of having to go bother yourself and your neighbors.   
 
See above.

Quote: Why is no one pressuring landlords to build parking for renters if so concerned with parking?

Answer: I provide off street parking for ALL my tenants.

Good for you, then your property and tenants property should be safe. 

MEGATRON

December 13, 2012, 02:50:03 PM

PS. I applaud Jim Love for his courage in involving himself in this controversy.
LMAO.  Its his friggin' job and he is doing a very poor job of it.

thelakelander

December 13, 2012, 03:05:41 PM
Not to mention empty beer cans, bottles and trash left behind. ( I have not noticed any pee on my trees).

What club, bar, or restaurant sells people drinks in cans and bottles that can be carried outside and disposed of in people's yards?  I suspect, it's more likely this would be the result of local residents or their guest in the area.

Non-RedNeck Westsider

December 13, 2012, 03:10:32 PM
Not to mention empty beer cans, bottles and trash left behind. ( I have not noticed any pee on my trees).

What club, bar, or restaurant sells people drinks in cans and bottles that can be carried outside and disposed of in people's yards?  I suspect, it's more likely this would be the result of local residents or their guest in the area.

Please stop with the logic... it doesn't belong in this thread....

KEGreene1

December 13, 2012, 03:12:22 PM
All - Dennis just provided his thoughts (as requested).  He did it in a non-combative manner.  Just because we are on opposite sides of the issue, we need to be able to listen.

That said: Cline is correct in pointing out that the Land Use Codes were there and allow MM to open.  While the anti-MM crowd all have their various reasons to fight.  The Pro-MM crowd does as well.  And I think one of my biggest beefs is the notion of "Fine, we will allow MM to open.  However, they cannot do X, Y and Z even though Biscotti's, Brick, Mojo's, etc. is allowed to do X, Y and Z"

Obviously the parking and the drunks behavior is an issue with or without MM and the WLA or Shoppes of Avondale Association should be spending their time and money into looking in ways to alleviate these issues.

stephendare

December 13, 2012, 03:14:17 PM
Quote
Thirty years ago when I purchased my buildings I did not visualize a half dozen bars in the neighborhood.

So you didn't bother to read the land use codes that allow those uses?  Did you just assume that the establishments that were in Avondale 30 years ago would remain the same indefinitely?

thirty years ago?  In Avondale?  that would place it about 1983 and there were a number of bars in the pretty run down neighborhood.  The Living Room Lounge, where the Brick is now, was one of the dirtiest diviest bars it has ever been my displeasure to walk into.  Populated primarily by drunk, semi toothed whiskeys the place smelt of dog poop.

Right down the street was the drive through bar at Monty's where older westsiders careened out of the driveway with glasses of cocktails and small bags of ice into the streets of the greater westside.

Land was pretty cheap back then, Dennis.  At least on the main drag---and anything not on the river. You must be fairly happy with how much your land value has skyrocketed since those days as a result of the millions of dollars of investment put into the neighborhood by those bars and restaurants.

thelakelander

December 13, 2012, 03:20:35 PM
All - Dennis just provided his thoughts (as requested).  He did it in a non-combative manner.  Just because we are on opposite sides of the issue, we need to be able to listen.

I wasn't trying to be rude or combative.  I've seen/heard that particular thing mentioned a lot.  I'm not aware of any lawful establishments doing this and would like to know a little more detail if possible.  Dennis, do you know where the beverages found in people's yards are coming from?  What are the logos on the empty cans and bottles?

Dennis

December 13, 2012, 03:21:53 PM



WHEN IS ENOUGH ENOUGH?

thelakelander

December 13, 2012, 03:22:42 PM
Enough of what?

Ralph W

December 13, 2012, 03:45:45 PM
There's not a bar, package store or nightclub anywhere near my neighborhood but it's not uncommon to find multitudes of beer bottles, cans and other trash discarded along the road side and even thrown onto the lawns. Enough is enough when the disrespectful citizens of our city can go anywhere whether walking, biking or driving and think and act as if the great outdoors is their own personal trash can.

thelakelander

December 13, 2012, 03:49:22 PM
I definitely agree.  I was just wondering if there is a true connection between beer cans being thrown in people's yards and the restaurants in the area.  Any restaurant passing out beer cans and bottles to patrons to drink in the street should be exposed.

Cheshire Cat

December 13, 2012, 03:52:33 PM
Hello Dennis.  It was good of you to chime in given the opportunity and share your views. As an Avondale resident myself who really had no feelings one way or the other about the new restaurant to begin with, this entire situation drew my attention when it was clear a standoff was underway and it was having a negative backlash on our community.  As someone with experience in both historic restoration and commercial revitalization I have a working knowledge of this sort of thing.  I also understand that is is very difficult negotiating a resolution in situations like this and that you will never please everyone. The only way to begin to find some resolve short of lawsuits, is to step away from the emotions, fears and wants and look at the facts.  In this instance, emotions and fears are the basis of much action but not sound judgement in all cases.

Consider the view of some that the MM is of a size and scope too big for the shops of Avondale. That is one perception.  The reality is that  size and scope of any enterprise in the shops is something to be considered by planning, zoning and city experts once given the plans for the project.  Apparently this proposed restaurant does meet lawful requirements. Once that fact has been understood, there is nothing to be gained by continued appeals except delay and bad will. 

The other concern you spoke of seems to revolve around noise and disturbances allegedly created by drunks that is bothersome to you and your tenants  The reality is that if those problems do exist the concerns and complaints should be directed to law enforcement. There are already laws in place to deal with disturbances after hours. What you are complaining about is according to your own words going on now and has nothing what-so-ever to do with a restaurant, in this case the Mellow Mushroom, that has yet to even be built. This is where want's begin to press reality.  The complaint then becomes merely the speculation that the restaurant will create more drunken disturbances.  Speculation however does not equal proven fact.   The city cannot simply refuse a business based upon the fears of some property owners who just don't want a particular business open near them.  Especially when that business is proposed for an established commercial area.  What is now happening  is that Mr. Valentino and his project have become the dumping off point for several old issues like parking, noise, traffic or the serving of alcohol.  He is being expected by some to pay for the business practices of others and the ordinances that allowed their operation under current laws.

When one purchases residential or rental property next to a commercial area and are then annoyed by the activity commercial business brings there is no one to blame for the choice but themselves. Buying next to commercial areas is always a gamble in some ways and those making the choice to do so also made the choice to take the gamble. 

I have been amazed by the degree of shortsightedness on the part of some local Avondale folks who apparently are so focused on finding something wrong with the MM project  they have become blind to the good things the business can bring.  First, we will see a derelict gas station in the core of the shops replaced with a well funded and viable restaurant that has name recognition and will draw needed customers and the prosperity they bring with them.  That will be felt by all the shops.  People who come to eat will also experience the lovely shops and perhaps come and visit other eateries at other times.  The parking issue is old news and any impact the new restaurant would bring would be most felt during the lunch hours which lasts a couple of hours. Surely some can be understanding enough to not get worked up over a couple of hours a day.  The shops are closed early and there is plenty of parking after that time for all the restaurants so at that point the parking issue becomes somewhat mute. 

This restaurant will open in one form or another and it would behoove everyone to welcome them in a positive fashion and hope that they are successful cause I gotta tell you folks, it is only the willingness of those to invest in local business in our shops that will keep the area vibrant and prosperous.   The alternative to that is empty structures and businesses that fail and you better believe a row of for rent signs in windows is much more ugly that a sign saying open, pizza now being served. 

Finally, I would applaud Mr. Love's attempts to mediate this situation but painting him as courageous because he is doing what he was elected to do which is work for the citizens is just silly IMO.  He is an elected official and controversy is part and parcel of the job. 

mhgc2

December 13, 2012, 04:43:49 PM
Thank you Diane. You bring reason to this discussion. I hope your Avondale neighbors will realize that bringing MM to the shoppes is not a bad thing. I believe they will be a great addition to the area. Lets face it, the westside is sorely in need of good places to eat.

kreger

December 13, 2012, 05:34:39 PM
I can't wait for Springfield to have this same issue. Bah Humbug!

JaxDiablo

December 13, 2012, 05:40:40 PM
Not sure if my reply was considered combative, but they were legitimate questions concerning the standing order of things in the area of the Shoppes.  I'm trying to figure out why someone who is a business owner feels that another business owner should be stymied in their attempt to open a business. 

stephendare

December 13, 2012, 05:51:26 PM
Not sure if my reply was considered combative, but they were legitimate questions concerning the standing order of things in the area of the Shoppes.  I'm trying to figure out why someone who is a business owner feels that another business owner should be stymied in their attempt to open a business.

without the answer being an ALL CAPITALs monster shout. ;)

stephendare

December 13, 2012, 06:33:12 PM
I have just gotten off the phone with Jim Love to discuss much of what has been said here regarding the restaurant issue in Avondale, as well as where this process currently stands.  First, Jim has agreed that if anyone had been asked to leave the meeting last week, he should have been the one asking, not one of the appellants, in this case Ms. Grant.  To use his words he said he will take the "hit" on that situation. He told me that had Ms. Grant not objected he would have let everyone stay, they just would have not been able to comment.

So apparently Ms. Grant overstepped her bounds......

If_I_Loved_you

December 13, 2012, 11:26:30 PM

PS. I applaud Jim Love for his courage in involving himself in this controversy.
LMAO.  Its his friggin' job and he is doing a very poor job of it.
Mr. Love is also a great Insurance man and a True Blue Ex-Navy pilot? I have know Mr. Love and he has had my business since 2006 and for you to say he is doing a "very poor job as a city councilman" is your right but your Wrong!

stephendare

December 14, 2012, 03:57:33 AM

PS. I applaud Jim Love for his courage in involving himself in this controversy.
LMAO.  Its his friggin' job and he is doing a very poor job of it.
Mr. Love is also a great Insurance man and a True Blue Ex-Navy pilot? I have know Mr. Love and he has had my business since 2006 and for you to say he is doing a "very poor job as a city councilman" is your right but your Wrong!

He is doing a very poor job as a city councilman in this respect.

What are his achievements as councilperson IILY?

Dennis

December 14, 2012, 07:44:37 AM
I would like to thank Diane Melendez for the eloquence with which she states MM’s position.. I am sure once MM opens she will be an honored guest.
It is with feelings tinged with melancholy that I ask you again,
”when is enough enough”?

thelakelander

December 14, 2012, 08:04:12 AM
Enough of what? Pizza, residents, WLA antics, what? You'll never get whatever you desire being that vague with a land use issue. This whole thing is being played out as effectively as nailing jello to the wall.

cline

December 14, 2012, 08:42:54 AM
I would like to thank Diane Melendez for the eloquence with which she states MM’s position.. I am sure once MM opens she will be an honored guest.
It is with feelings tinged with melancholy that I ask you again,
”when is enough enough”?


Sorry, but you can't penalize the last person in just because you feel like you've had enough.  That's not fair and that's not how it works.  There are other spaces in the Shoppes that are going to eventually become something else (Monty's comes to mind) and they might very well be a bar or restaurant.  Do you plan on mounting this fight from now on whenever a new place wants to come in?

Dennis

December 14, 2012, 08:55:22 AM
I would like to thank Diane Melendez for the eloquence with which she states MM’s position.. I am sure once MM opens she will be an honored guest.
It is with feelings tinged with melancholy that I ask you again,
”when is enough enough”?


Sorry, but you can't penalize the last person in just because you feel like you've had enough.  That's not fair and that's not how it works.  There are other spaces in the Shoppes that are going to eventually become something else (Monty's comes to mind) and they might very well be a bar or restaurant.  Do you plan on mounting this fight from now on whenever a new place wants to come in?

I am pleased you understand the question...:)

thelakelander

December 14, 2012, 09:09:02 AM
At what point will there start to be a serious fight for the implementation of mobility solutions for a neighborhood not designed for every resident and business to have multiple cars on the street? 

As long as the commercial area remains commercial, there will always be the possibility of redevelopment and more density in according to what that particular zoning regulation will allow.  Some uses, both residential and commercial, will end up impacting mobility more than others. 

Tacachale

December 14, 2012, 09:26:27 AM
Reminds me of Jax Beach. The oceanfront was once home to a vibrant amusement park with a roller coaster, ferris wheel, and other fair-style attractions along the boardwalk buildings. By the 1980s, though the rides and many of the buildings had been torn down, and the place was deathly quiet except for a few beach bars and the wind picking over the empty lots.

The downtown area was revitalized in the 1990s, with a lot of new construction, new hotels and residences, and many new restaurants and bars. However, some of the residents had grown accustomed to the deathly silence and, Grinch-like, opposed all the new NOISE NOISE NOISE NOISE. These were people who had moved adjacent to a long-established commercial and nightlife area that once had an amusement park on it.

"When is enough enough", they said.

If we listened to everyone who says that, there would be no nightlife anywhere in NE Florida.

Dennis

December 14, 2012, 09:44:50 AM
Fight is such a strong word!

Captain Zissou

December 14, 2012, 10:16:29 AM
I would like to thank Diane Melendez for the eloquence with which she states MM’s position.. I am sure once MM opens she will be an honored guest.
It is with feelings tinged with melancholy that I ask you again,
”when is enough enough”?

Fight is such a strong word!

Did North Miami/Know Growth move to St Johns Avenue??

If_I_Loved_you

December 14, 2012, 11:16:46 AM

PS. I applaud Jim Love for his courage in involving himself in this controversy.
LMAO.  Its his friggin' job and he is doing a very poor job of it.
Mr. Love is also a great Insurance man and a True Blue Ex-Navy pilot? I have know Mr. Love and he has had my business since 2006 and for you to say he is doing a "very poor job as a city councilman" is your right but your Wrong!

He is doing a very poor job as a city councilman in this respect.

What are his achievements as councilperson IILY?
Getting involved and winning his first seat as a councilman and the moratorium. http://residentnews.net/2012/05/30/qa-district-14-city-councilman-jim-love-riversideavondale-development-moratorium/ Lets be honest Stephen parking is a major problem in Avondale/Riverside. I drive thru Avondale/Riverside several times day and night. Sure it's the holidays but when they are over parking is still a bitch during most of the day unless you eat late? The moratorium has slowed everything down and this is good. Look I'm still with MM coming to the Shoppes of Avondale unlike weloveavondale and rap. Stephen you're a smart person and if you make the city council in 2015 you have got to be honest not Everything you do is going to make Everyone happy.  ;)

Gators312

December 14, 2012, 11:29:33 AM

PS. I applaud Jim Love for his courage in involving himself in this controversy.
LMAO.  Its his friggin' job and he is doing a very poor job of it.
Mr. Love is also a great Insurance man and a True Blue Ex-Navy pilot? I have know Mr. Love and he has had my business since 2006 and for you to say he is doing a "very poor job as a city councilman" is your right but your Wrong!

He is doing a very poor job as a city councilman in this respect.

What are his achievements as councilperson IILY?
Getting involved and winning his first seat as a councilman and the moratorium. http://residentnews.net/2012/05/30/qa-district-14-city-councilman-jim-love-riversideavondale-development-moratorium/ Lets be honest Stephen parking is a major problem in Avondale/Riverside. I drive thru Avondale/Riverside several times day and night. Sure it's the holidays but when they are over parking is still a bitch during most of the day unless you eat late? The moratorium has slowed everything down and this is good. Look I'm still with MM coming to the Shoppes of Avondale unlike weloveavondale and rap. Stephen you're a smart person and if you make the city council in 2015 you have got to be honest not Everything you do is going to make Everyone happy.  ;)

The moratorium was a knee jerk reaction and poorly written.  A piece of legislation like this is bad for business growth which is what creates much needed jobs.    At no time has RAP, WLA, The merchants association or Mr. Love, proposed any proactive measures to mitigate the perceived parking issues.  There are many ways to address the concerns of the neighborhood without putting the kibosh on organic business growth. 


cline

December 14, 2012, 11:34:15 AM
Quote
The moratorium has slowed everything down and this is good.

What exactly has the moratorium slowed down?

If_I_Loved_you

December 14, 2012, 11:43:02 AM
Quote
The moratorium has slowed everything down and this is good.

What exactly has the moratorium slowed down?
Mr Love said it best "I, like most business owners and residents, want a smart plan to carry us forward into the future balancing the needs of businesses and the residents living in the historic district."

stephendare

December 14, 2012, 11:52:00 AM
cline, no new restaurants or nightclubs can open basically.

IILY.

Its been two years and you are listing Jim's achievements as "He got elected"?

What was his vote on the equality ordinance?

What was his vote on the mobility moratorium which would have directly fixed the problems he is now trying to fight for in terms of parking and traffic in the area?

What jobs programs has he fought for?

What funding for public parks?

Did he help find money for the Cummer?

How about propose a transportation solution for Riverside Avondale?

Has he asked for a committee to study the various arguments and options available?  (speaking of which, isnt this what he claimed that the 'moratorium' would give the community time to do?---and yet in the past 6 months he hasnt had a single public meeting asking for the merchants, the land owners, the transportation experts or the planners to have so much as a cup of coffee over the matter)

Compare that to what Lori Boyer has managed to do since her legislative triumph in 'getting elected for the first time'.

Hell,  even Denise Lee, Don Redman, and Bill Gulliford managed to propose legislation to completely burn Hemming Park to the ground in the same amount of time.

Has Jim Love defended the interests of the businesses in the area?

And don't get me wrong, I really do like Jim Love, and his son who is a member of this forum as people, I'm just responding to this absurd claim of yours that getting elected is an achievement for the community or the idea that completely bypassing the planning process or the legal method of zoning by creating a phony 'moratorium' is anything other than bad precedent and ham handed handling of the problem is incorrect.

If_I_Loved_you

December 14, 2012, 12:01:12 PM
cline, no new restaurants or nightclubs can open basically.

IILY.

Its been two years and you are listing Jim's achievements as "He got elected"?

What was his vote on the equality ordinance?

What was his vote on the mobility moratorium which would have directly fixed the problems he is now trying to fight for in terms of parking and traffic in the area?

What jobs programs has he fought for?

What funding for public parks?

Did he help find money for the Cummer?

How about propose a transportation solution for Riverside Avondale?

Has he asked for a committee to study the various arguments and options available?  (speaking of which, isnt this what he claimed that the 'moratorium' would give the community time to do?---and yet in the past 6 months he hasnt had a single public meeting asking for the merchants, the land owners, the transportation experts or the planners to have so much as a cup of coffee over the matter)

Compare that to what Lori Boyer has managed to do since her legislative triumph in 'getting elected for the first time'.

Hell,  even Denise Lee, Don Redman, and Bill Gulliford managed to propose legislation to completely burn Hemming Park to the ground in the same amount of time.

Has Jim Love defended the interests of the businesses in the area?

And don't get me wrong, I really do like Jim Love, and his son who is a member of this forum as people, I'm just responding to this absurd claim of yours that getting elected is an achievement for the community or the idea that completely bypassing the planning process or the legal method of zoning by creating a phony 'moratorium' is anything other than bad precedent and ham handed handling of the problem is incorrect.
Thank You Stephen

stephendare

December 14, 2012, 12:03:20 PM
I was asking those questions sincerely.

Do you know the answer to any of them?

Is there some other legislative achievement that you are aware of that I might be callously missing?

iluvolives

December 14, 2012, 12:17:16 PM
cline, no new restaurants or nightclubs can open basically.


Didn't Love allow "special permission" for Dahila's and Salty Fig to be opened...since he deemed them worthy? It seems at this points its only holding up establishments that serve pizza in Avondale.

cline

December 14, 2012, 12:51:35 PM
^That was kind of my point.  The moratorium was a bogus measure to try and halt MM.  And it's coming from someone who owns a business in RA.  Strange.  And by the way, getting elected to City Council in Jax is simply a popularity contest with no basis in actual qualifications and/or merit.  Basically a Homecoming King/Queen for adults.  Just look at some of the individuals sitting on CC right now- not exactly the best and the brightest.  At any rate, this anti-MM bullsh!t from the WLA crowd needs to come to an end.  Its not healthy.  The neighborhood needs to focus its attention on other, more pressing, concerns.  Not shutting out a pizza joint.

stephendare

December 14, 2012, 12:56:28 PM
^That was kind of my point.  The moratorium was a bogus measure to try and halt MM.  And it's coming from someone who owns a business in RA.  Strange.  And by the way, getting elected to City Council in Jax is simply a popularity contest with no basis in actual qualifications and/or merit.  Basically a Homecoming King/Queen for adults.  Just look at some of the individuals sitting on CC right now- not exactly the best and the brightest.  At any rate, this anti-MM bullsh!t from the WLA crowd needs to come to an end.  Its not healthy.  The neighborhood needs to focus its attention on other, more pressing, concerns.  Not shutting out a pizza joint.

this.

stephendare

December 14, 2012, 12:58:00 PM
Although I must confess a certain fondness for the emergence of Ms. Alicia Grant.

Truly a fascinating character in this little drama.

Tacachale

December 14, 2012, 01:33:11 PM

What was his vote on the equality ordinance?


Jim Love voted for the HRO.

stephendare

December 14, 2012, 01:35:14 PM
a point in his favor then.

except that he didnt really.

He voted for a potential substitute amendment which failed, and then he voted against the ordinance.

Tacachale

December 14, 2012, 01:43:57 PM
a point in his favor then.

except that he didnt really.

He voted for a potential substitute amendment which failed, and then he voted against the ordinance.
That's true of almost all of the supporters. The version he voted for was the one that would have passed without Judas Gaffney being persuaded to flip. Love was one of the good guys on the HRO.

stephendare

December 14, 2012, 01:46:24 PM
Then why didnt he vote for the bill?

I think either you or I, if we had been in his place, would have voted for the bill anyways.

It would have been an easy gesture of support.

I think its more correct to say that he tried to be the good guy.  But in the end,---when it counted--- he just wasn't.

Tacachale

December 14, 2012, 02:09:14 PM
Then why didnt he vote for the bill?

I think either you or I, if we had been in his place, would have voted for the bill anyways.

It would have been an easy gesture of support.

I think its more correct to say that he tried to be the good guy.  But in the end,---when it counted--- he just wasn't.

I think Love - and the others - were just blindsided by Gaffney's flipping. At any rate the unamended bill was never going to pass even if Gaffney hadn't pulled a Ganelon. But yes, it still would have been a nice show of support, and yes, I'm sure you and I would absolutely have voted for it anyway.

ChriswUfGator

December 15, 2012, 08:11:06 AM
Then why didnt he vote for the bill?

I think either you or I, if we had been in his place, would have voted for the bill anyways.

It would have been an easy gesture of support.

I think its more correct to say that he tried to be the good guy.  But in the end,---when it counted--- he just wasn't.

I think Love - and the others - were just blindsided by Gaffney's flipping. At any rate the unamended bill was never going to pass even if Gaffney hadn't pulled a Ganelon. But yes, it still would have been a nice show of support, and yes, I'm sure you and I would absolutely have voted for it anyway.

Hogwash, it was strategy.

The initial ordinance tracked every other major city's HRO, that's the one he voted against, deciding instead to support a watered-down-to-the-point-of-uselessness version that was guaranteed to make neither side happy. That Gaffney happened to be the swing vote really has nothing to do with it, although I'll admit it's a uniquely jacksonville proposition to have a coincilmember try to avoid responsibility by saying he was confused as to what he was voting on. But frankly most people are glad the second bill didn't pass, since the first one should have, and for the folks who were pushing this issue it would become that much harder to get it through the next time, since they'd face the "why do we need another one of these?" arguments.

Welcome to politics.

Quit apologizing for Jim Love, he showed his colors and made his choices on that one loud and clear, and his voice was well-heard by half the neighborhood, who from the grumblings you hear wouldn't vote for him to be dog catcher at this point. The whole gay rights thing seems awfully stupid to most A) Educated people, B) Most people with money, and C) (obviously) Gay people, all three categories of which seem to be rather prevalent around here. Talk about misunderstanding your constituency.

Tacachale

December 15, 2012, 10:59:39 AM
I'm not apologizing for anyone, I'm pointing out that Love did vote for the version of the ordinance that would have passed, and was just one of 17 who voted against the version that wasn't going to pass. That qualifies as being one of the good guys here.

stephendare

December 15, 2012, 11:01:16 AM
I'm not apologizing for anyone, I'm pointing out that Love did vote for the version of the ordinance that would have passed, and was just one of 17 who voted against the version that wasn't going to pass. That qualifies as being one of the good guys here.

Thats not a very high bar then, and it speaks to why we all need to work as hard as possible to replace most of this City Council and elect people that actually represent a new Jacksonville.

ChriswUfGator

December 15, 2012, 12:09:27 PM
I'm not apologizing for anyone, I'm pointing out that Love did vote for the version of the ordinance that would have passed, and was just one of 17 who voted against the version that wasn't going to pass. That qualifies as being one of the good guys here.

You can't say you're not being an apologist, then go right back to doing it. The fact that there's somebody somehwere who's more of a racist/homophobe/whatever doesn't make anyone a good guy. Come on, that's silly and you know it.

spuwho

December 15, 2012, 12:12:06 PM
I'm not apologizing for anyone, I'm pointing out that Love did vote for the version of the ordinance that would have passed, and was just one of 17 who voted against the version that wasn't going to pass. That qualifies as being one of the good guys here.

Thats not a very high bar then, and it speaks to why we all need to work as hard as possible to replace most of this City Council and elect people that actually represent a new Jacksonville.

Did I read correctly in another thread that you were in fact running for an "at large" council position?

stephendare

December 15, 2012, 12:17:39 PM
I'm not apologizing for anyone, I'm pointing out that Love did vote for the version of the ordinance that would have passed, and was just one of 17 who voted against the version that wasn't going to pass. That qualifies as being one of the good guys here.

Thats not a very high bar then, and it speaks to why we all need to work as hard as possible to replace most of this City Council and elect people that actually represent a new Jacksonville.

Did I read correctly in another thread that you were in fact running for an "at large" council position?

My plan is to run against Kim Daniels who occupies an At Large Council Position.

Without spilling the beans, there are very serious conversations happening right now to run someone against Jim Love as well.

sheclown

December 15, 2012, 12:47:41 PM
I'm not apologizing for anyone, I'm pointing out that Love did vote for the version of the ordinance that would have passed, and was just one of 17 who voted against the version that wasn't going to pass. That qualifies as being one of the good guys here.

Thats not a very high bar then, and it speaks to why we all need to work as hard as possible to replace most of this City Council and elect people that actually represent a new Jacksonville.

Did I read correctly in another thread that you were in fact running for an "at large" council position?

My plan is to run against Kim Daniels who occupies an At Large Council Position.

Without spilling the beans, there are very serious conversations happening right now to run someone against Jim Love as well.

awesome.

Dennis

December 17, 2012, 04:21:03 PM
Good old Harry Truman was correct when he observed, "My choices in life were either to be a piano player in a whore house or a politician. And to tell the truth, there's hardly any difference!
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