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Stalemate could spell end for CVS

Rotterdam Town Board split on holding public hearing

— Chances are increasingly slim a rezoning to pave the way for a new CVS Pharmacy in one town will ever be made.

Members of the Rotterdam Town Board came to a split vote Wednesday, April 11, on approving a public hearing to rezone 1, 7, and 9 Lawndale Avenue and 950 Curry Road from R-1 Residential to B-1 Retail Business.

The rezone is the first approval needed before the town makes any decisions on approving the actual CVS project. Since the board cast a 2-2 vote the hearing won’t be held, effectively ending the process unless it’s brought forward again.

Supervisor Harry Buffardi said on Tuesday, April 17, there are no plans to reintroduce the proposal.

Setting up a public hearing would be the first step in approving the rezone of the property, but only two members of the board want to continue the process. Buffardi and Councilman Robert Godlewski voted in support of moving forward, but Deputy Supervisor Wayne Calder and Councilman Matthew Martin voted against setting the hearing. Councilman Mike Viscusi was absent from the meeting.

Prior to the meeting, the Town Planning Commission had given two separate negative recommendations on the proposal.

The second recommendation was given on Tuesday, April 3, after developers proposed changes for the proposed 13,225-square-foot CVS building. The most significant change was meant to address resident concerns about an increase of traffic coming down Lawndale Avenue by creating a hammerhead turnaround at the end of the street.

Martin has continuously opposed the rezone based on the zoning encroachment. He said the new conceptual plan for the store did a “pretty good job” at addressing concerns of residents, but he still doesn’t support B-1 zoning for the area.

Calder mentioned previous debates over the proposed rezone and said the board needs to weigh all concerns.

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