As it turns out –- and this information comes from long-time ShiDa residents – most of these ‘neighbors’, the newly outraged residents of a once-bustling night market area, only moved to ShiDa “within the last 2 or 3 years.”The campaign has been ongoing (here). This China Post tale from last year says local residents had organized a "self-help association" which made trouble for the local restaurants (here). Many of us had suspected the attack on the famed and beloved food and shopping mecca was orchestrated by land developers in cahoots with local government. Note again the pious yet selective application of the law which has become a common feature of so many of these cases.
According to a city ordinance, restaurants are not allowed within a radius of 8 meters from residential buildings.The city could be going after thousands upon thousands of restaurants in Taipei, but it chose these in the market. The area is on prime land for development, near two major universities and key metro stops. The government's cooperation with the "self-help association" was pointed out by the redoubtable Oz in a post last year, in which he noted that the ShiDa Night Market signs had been removed from metro stops in the area. That post has plenty more information, including the fact that the markets there generate US$400 million in revenues each year....
“There are probably more than 10,000 restaurants located within a radius of 8 meters from residential buildings in the city,” a restaurateur, who spoke on condition of anonymity, complained.
The move also seems to be a part of the "upgrading" that has swept away so many of Taipei's traditional markets and landmarks.
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