City council approves rezoning for Riverside restaurant

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – City Council approved the rezoning proposal for a new restaurant in the Riverside area Tuesday evening.

The Roost will replace Deluxe Launderette on Oak Street.

Some people complained the restaurant would cause parking and noise problems but others are in favor of it.

The Land Use and Zoning Committee previously voted 5-2 in favor of the proposed restaurant.

Riverside neighborhood residents and business owners met with the City Council this month to make their plea against the restaurant, which is proposed to occupy a building on Oak Street that’s been abandoned for nearly a decade.

According to two developers and their attorney, Steven Diebenow, the restaurant will focus on breakfast and lunch, offering 150 seats with 32 of them being outside. And though the business would sell alcohol, the team said they would work with the city to address concerns like noise and heavy traffic.

The location was zoned for commercial, residential or office space. But the developers applied to turn the space into a planned unit development, which is a zoning that can already be seen throughout the area, including on Margaret Street-- where M Shack, a salon and a Chinese restaurant make up Five Points Village, or on St. Johns Avenue, where Mellow Mushroom is located.

But neighbors are still citing issues like heavy noise, parking, light and even residential character -- all primary concerns they said The Roost goes against.

According to research presented Wednesday by the developers’ team, 40 percent of customers leave restaurants in the area after 8 p.m., and another 40 percent after 10 p.m. They hope the research will sway residents and the City Council as the battle of the zones continues.

The developers’ team also said The Roost would match the historical fabric of the area and create 40 jobs.

About the Author:

Emmy-nominated journalist Kristin Cason joined the News 6 team in June 2016.