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Persistence pays off for CVS in Rotterdam

Store proposal moves forward, residents still slam plans

A preliminary site plan for the proposed CVS Pharmacy at the corner of Lawndale Avenue and Curry Road is displayed during the Rotterdam Town Board Meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 8. The conceptual plan included several changes from the previous proposal.

A preliminary site plan for the proposed CVS Pharmacy at the corner of Lawndale Avenue and Curry Road is displayed during the Rotterdam Town Board Meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 8. The conceptual plan included several changes from the previous proposal. Photo by John Purcell.

— Despite residents’ pleas, the first hurdle is cleared in a longstanding struggle to rezone land for a proposed CVS Pharmacy in Rotterdam.

The Rotterdam Town Board approved sending a proposal to the town Planning Commission for a recommendation on rezoning four residential properties at the corner of Lawndale Avenue and Curry Road from R-1 Residential to B-1 Retail Business. Neighboring residents continued to speak out against the proposed CVS, claiming it doesn’t fit the character of the surrounding community.

Councilman Matthew Martin was the only member voting against the resolution on Wednesday, Feb. 8, citing the dissent.

Councilman Robert Godlewski continued his support for the referral and argued the Town Board has the final say.

“All the Planning Commission is going to do is give us a recommendation,” Godlewski said. “Once we get that recommendation the board has to decide whether they want to do the zone change … it has to come back to us.”

Martin continued his opposition based on the “encroachment of the zoning,” which has remained unchanged since the original proposal.

“It has nothing to do with the conceptual plan,” Martin said. “My vote is ‘no’ at this time.”

Deputy Supervisor Wayne Calder previously voted against the resolution, but he said the revised site plan led him to change his mind. Also, he said the last time the board voted on the resolution it would have approved the zone change without the project coming before the board again.

“There was some changes, some decent changes, which I was happy they tried to do,” Calder said. “It is not easy to make a decision like this because it affects people, but there has been a lot of discussion over this … hopefully (the Planning Commission) is going to be watching out for everybody’s best interest and I think they will.”

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