After several hours of viewing the televised public meetings involving the proposed development of the now vacant Elm St. property, I, as a Village resident, would like to add my two cents.
The parcel in question has been for sale for a very long time. Anybody could have purchased it. Finally somebody did or at least started the purchase process. But oh, wait a minute, the neighbors aren’t happy. Plans for this place will ruin the value of homes in the area, they say. Some even believe the land may be contaminated. Let’s suppose that is true. Imagine what the property values proximal to Elm St. will be if that’s proven. What a can of worms will be open then. Be careful about what issues are brought up to pursue the retaliation against the proposed land use.
This whole situation is reminiscent of the CVS acquisition of the Grand Union property on Main St. Wow, was that a hot, controversial issue! There were endless protests and even a march through the Village, led by “Granny D,” an elderly woman who some would say was of national fame. CVS would, without a doubt, lead to the demise of our exuberant downtown.
Well, many years later our downtown area is still vibrant and a mecca for many local and from out of town shoppers. Nobody has ever been informed of what the exact cost the whole debacle was to the taxpayers but it was certainly significant. Eminent domain was considered at that time and was shot down like a clay pigeon in the sky. Lawyers, meetings, lawsuits, and time proved to be wasteful for the Village. It turns out that CVS is a good neighbor after all and even provides a significant parking lot for shoppers other than their own. All of the opponent’s worries were for naught.
You can’t change the rules in the middle of a game because you are losing. Seems like that’s what some dissenters want to do by changing the zoning. Sorry, that is not how things are done. We are not a communist or socialist country yet. I hope it doesn’t become one.
Here’s an idea: Why don’t all of the concerned citizens pool their money together and buy 16 Elm St. themselves? ‘Just an idea.
MICHAEL J. O’BRIEN