Support Riverside Market at Tomorrow's Commission Meeting
Last week, the land was awarded to the winning bidder, taxi czar Jesse Gaddis.
Tomorrow at 6 p.m. in the first floor commission chamber of City Hall at 100 N. Andrews Ave., the commission will hear Siegel and anyone else who wants to comment on the item, then decide whether it will reconsider its decision to sell the land to Gaddis.
Siegel says he's organizing supporters to Riverside Market at 5 p.m. prior to the commission hearing. For those who will attend the meeting on their own, Siegel asks they arrive early.
That Siegel is speaking after the sale of city-owned land is unusual. It is allowed as a result of a technicality: When the city placed the ad in newspapers for the date for sale of the land, the date was was incorrect.
Siegel says he had been expecting to hear from the city regarding the impending sale but had not been notified by the city of the correct date last week.
When he followed up with city officials to express dismay over the sale of the land to Gaddis, he promptly received a letter and an email indicating that the issue had been added to Tuesday's agenda, during which he would have three minutes to make a case. Once Siegel and anyone else comments on the item, the commission will decide whether to reconsider the sale.
Siegel says it is not clear to him whether the sale will be determined by the highest bidder or the "best" use of the land. "We're turning around the neighborhood with this market," says Siegel.
It is also unclear whether Riverside Market can remain open without access to the adjacent lot, considering the lot is necessary for restaurant inspection after a decadeslong hiatus. Currently, Broward County has deemed the property commercial while the city lists it as residential. Because of the conflict, the city has not moved forward on inspecting the building. The inspection is necessary to award Riverside Market a license to sell beer and wine. If Riverside has no parking lot, the restaurant can't secure a license.
Gaddis has not returned repeated calls to Clean Plate Charlie.
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