Drivers who were upset or just unhappy at having to pay to park at the shopping center where Courtyard Café and To The Moon are located, have a partial reprieve: parking is now free from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. for customers who patronize one of the shopping center’s businesses.
The parking meters had caused controversy because vehicles with handicapped stickers were not exempt from paying. Oakland Park Commission candidate Scott Herman said it was disrespectful to military veterans with disabilities to charge them to park. State law does not prohibit the owners of private parking lots from charging disabled individuals for parking.
The Gazette was unable to reach the plaza’s new owner but Nick Berry, co-owner of Courtyard Café, said he’s received coupons allowing his customers to park for free. Berry and the owners of New York Grilled Cheese and Castelli Real Estate are still trying to resolve the situation with the new owner.
Up until recently, parking had been free. The change, said Berry, caused him to lose business because people were upset they had to start paying. Berry even received an anonymous angry letter from a group of customers who stated they wouldn’t eat as his restaurant anymore because they were being charged for parking. Berry said the issue was frustrating because he had nothing to do with the decision to charge for parking.
According to the Broward Property Appraiser, the plaza was sold on Oct. 13 for $6 million.