CVS gets third hearing and loses

Residents: store doesn’t fit the character of surrounding neighborhood

— The Rotterdam Town Board voted down a resolution 3-2 that would have allowed an abandoned property at Lawndale Avenue and Curry Road to be rezoned from single-family to retail business to make way for a proposed CVS Pharmacy.

If the board had voted the resolution through, it would then be referred to the town’s Planning Commission for its recommendation. This was the third time this proposal had been brought before the public and it was the third time many spoke out against it.

“I’m really hoping this will be the last time around,” said resident Roxanne Heller. “Please vote on this and just say ‘no.’ We all live here because we like it. We bought houses here because we like it. Please make it be that way. Please don’t let a big box store with a lot of money come in and destroy what we worked so hard to build.”

Several other residents stood up to say that they felt the project didn’t fit the character of the neighborhood. One even suggested that the town build affordable housing for younger couples to move into the area.

“Sandy [his wife] had visions of retiring and enjoying a quiet, peaceful neighborhood,” said Al Hudgens, a resident near the proposed CVS site. “As residents and voters, we look to you to not only preserve the quality of the life we envisioned but also the life we’re accustomed to.”

Resident Calvin Rugg told the board he had concerns over the amount of traffic that would be created by putting in a new CVS on Lawndale Avenue. He also questioned why the board even would consider rezoning the area as he didn’t believe it would ever fit.

“It’s a sucker punch,” he said. “It does not give proper time to residents when they don’t know about the business moving in next door… I ask you to elaborate why you think it is OK to rezone at this time.”

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