Warwick’s downtown is admirable. We have shopping and tourists and lots of merchants to serve them. We also have neighborhoods encroached on by bars. Merchants selling alcohol have steadily moved into our neighborhoods and eroded the quality of life that makes quiet village living such a privilege.
A recent proposal to expand an existing bar business into the heart of our neighborhood is before the Planning Board. Bar after bar has been approved in the Village. The Planning Board is comprised of men. No wives, no mothers, no representation by 51% of the population? Imagine your husband comes home and said, “HEY I’ve decided to make our backyard into a public Tiki Bar! We’ll have, motorcycles, late night drunks, sidewalk vomit, and Quick Draw gambling with lots of parking. We’ll get all year twinkly lights and happy hour every night and every holiday! We’ll get a commercial exhaust system with bar food smells 16 hours a day! Maybe we’ll get a little side business going in the parking lot with drugs too, honey!”
What would you say as a mom, a neighbor, a grandmother? I’d say adopt a women’s advisory board pronto to counsel the Planning Board on impacts to families and neighborhoods. Consideration for our merchants is essential to a vibrant downtown but the liquor pendulum and influence of beer garden culture has gone too far in our beautiful Village. There are already disasters on Spring St. and McEwen St. and West St. where taxpaying homeowners peaceful home life has been ruined in the interests of a single merchants well being.
We need parking, we need a permanent home for the Farmers’ Market and we need to give residents the same consideration as merchants. We make the merchants possible. We pay for the streets! Tell the Planning Board to read the zoning in a way that supports traditional neighborhood values. There is plenty of room for interpretation. Resting on recent precedent is unacceptable.