Many readers are likely aware of the application before the Warwick Village Planning Board to develop 16 Elm St. as a restaurant and bar, as well as concern expressed by adjoining neighbors on Van Buren and West St.
Here we live, neighbors and friends, as it should continue despite the matter before us, a circumstance which could easily compel one to take sides and not fully appreciate another’s perspective.
Empathize with the current property owners, gracious and generous over the many years to their neighbors on Van Buren and West Streets, now in contract to sell their parcel. Empathize with the applicant, long-established on Main St, a driving force in many ways to bring vibrancy to the shops and sidewalks in our business core, now pursuing his next venture. Empathize with the applicant’s patrons, their lives enriched by hospitality and community enjoyed in their third place [a place that is neither work nor home and vitally significant in their lives], now excited by the prospect of what the future holds. Empathize with the good people of Van Buren and West Streets who enjoy backyards bordering woodlands, now concerned that the peace and solitude of every day and night living is about to be irretrievably lost.
From Elm St. you see a large lot surrounded by mature shade trees. From the backyards of Van Buren and West Streets you stand near those same trees which would be removed, in the current plan, to build the structure.
As part of good planning, I encourage the Planning Board to walk in these neighbors’ shoes, meet them in their backyards, and hear their concerns.
EDWARD D. SATTLER