Avondale's battle over new businesses

Community split on decision to bring in new restaurant


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The fate of Avondale is a battle that has been taken up through blogs and flyers is now being played out on the streets.

"We are so looking forward to having a new business here," said one Avondale resident.

"Parking is already a nightmare, this would make it that much worse," said another.

The two women represent very different sides of the fight in Avondale. One side wants to promote the growth of the district and the other wants things to just stay the same.

A new restaurant is set to open in the area, and the owners have found themselves caught in the middle of the fight. Popular pizza restaurant Mellow Mushroom is set to open, but is being faced with strong resistance from the camp against what it calls "sustainable expansion."

"Avondale is supposed to be a quaint quiet spot, not some nightclub strip," said one Avondale resident.

Things like parking problems, excessive noise and increased traffic are all issues that some think will be a spin off of Mellow Mushroom opening its doors.

"This is why we moved here. We want to walk to dinner, we want to be close to nightlife, we knew some of these things would come along with it," said one resident.

The battle has escalated beyond a neighborhood debate; hundreds have shown up at zoning meetings to let their voices be heard. Two LLC's have been created on either side of the argument and flyers with strong language have been delivered door to door around Avondale.

An official decision on the project has been postponed and in the meantime both sides hope they and Mellow Mushroom can come to some sort of compromise.