Just because you can doesn’t mean you should. Upon reflection on the proposed building of a beer garden on 16 Elm St. in Warwick, I have one thing I want to tell John Christison, the person who wants to build it: just because you can doesn’t mean you should.
The property on Elm St. is zoned to allow a restaurant. So you can push to put a 190 seat restaurant there with outdoor seating and grow your business from your current Yesterday’s into a bigger, higher volume, more profitable establishment. And it may not be against the law, depending on how the environmental report turns out. And depending on the Planning Board overlooking the impact on the quality of life.
However, there is more to business than law. There is the impact of your actions on the world around you. In this case, your neighbors who you claim to care so much about.
The placing of this restaurant on that location will greatly and negatively impact dozens of families on the blocks directly bordering the property and even more in the surrounding area. You have walked the property and you see how close the restaurant is to all those neighbors’ houses. The noise – even if it is not a rowdy drinking crowd – will not be stopped by trees. The 30+ people sitting at the outside tables – even the most soft spoken people – will be heard inside people’s homes. Deliveries coming and going and cars slamming doors in the parking lot for the 150 seats inside will be a daily annoyance. And with merely one drink, these soft spoken patrons laughter and conversation will increasingly disturb the peace of neighbors. The smoke and smells from the cooking will be omnipresent. The garbage, even if handled well, will attract more animals. And the increased traffic and undoubtedly increased drinking and driving will impact the neighborhood.
So, you can proceed and tell yourself you are not doing anything wrong, as it is allowed. But you will no longer be the good neighbor you have the reputation for because you will have completely disregarded the new neighbors. By building in this spot, you’ll be saying to all the neighbors around that property that you don’t care if your business negatively impacts them, and that you’re more interested in your personal profit then you are on the impact on the community.
By the way, I am not one of those people who is against profit and business. Making money is perfectly fine and honorable. The problem is that when your profit has a net negative impact on the world, it’s no longer a good business or an honorable business. It’s a disrespectful business. To your success.