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Neighbors decry proposed CVS

Rotterdam residents claim store would ruin atmosphere

— Residents from Lawndale Avenue in Rotterdam are speaking out against a proposed CVS Pharmacy that they claim would tarnish their neighborhood.

The Rotterdam Town Board got its first glimpse of the project on Monday, Sept. 12. The plans call for a CVS Pharmacy at the corner of Guilderland Avenue and Curry Road, which is a busy intersection. There’s a vacant building at the site now.

Two days later on Wednesday, Sept. 14, following media reports, residents from Lawndale Avenue and nearby streets came out to oppose the plan. The board was set to refer the project to the Planning Commission for a report and recommendation.

Deputy Supervisor Robert Godlewski said the board did not receive the concept map until shortly before the meeting. After a brief discussion, the board tabled the resolution so they could have more time to look over the project information.

The proposed CVS property is planned to have an “exit only” onto Lawndale Avenue, which had residents concerned about increased traffic. Also, three homes are set to be demolished and the parcels rezoned to suit the commercial property. According to the applicant, the owners of those homes have signed off on the plan.

A representative from CVS could not be reached for comment.

Sharon Butler, of Lawndale Avenue, asked the board to reconsider sending the proposal to the Planning Commission because she claimed it would be hazardous to children and property values.

“This rezone will have a negative impact on the homes — financially and environmentally — with more traffic, because that always creates a negative impact on any residential neighborhood,” said Butler. “The kids in this area play outside … they are able to do these things because it is safe for them to do. They don’t have to worry about traffic.”

She said it is a “friendly” neighborhood and residents watch out for each other and oftentimes develop lasting relationships. This atmosphere would be lost with CVS moving in, she said.

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