Responsible Growth for Winchester:
Help protect Winchester from Mega Store!
CVS Caremark Corp. is proposing to demolish 3 existing standalone structures and combine the parcels of land to build a CVS mega store at the corner of Washington Street and Swanton Street in Winchester, MA. If this project is approved by the Town of Winchester Zoning Board of Appeals, construction will begin late this spring. Please join the initiative to protect Winchester from mega stores! IT’S NOT TOO LATE!!!
Square footage: 12,112 sq. ft. (Redstone Plaza CVS is 11,970 sq. ft.!)
Height: 22 feet
Lighting Details: ??
Parking Spots: 63
Store Hours: 7:00am-10:00pm (tentative), 7 days a week
Traffic impact: Optimistic estimates sent back for peer review...
Reasons why a Mega CVS is detrimental to Winchester residents:No mega stores in Winchester. This project will set precedence for other major retailers to combine multiple parcels and build mega stores in our small community. Other national chains will want to capitalize on any CVS overflow. This “commercial creep” opens up the possibility of more commercial stores on Washington Street and Swanton Street. This is a residential neighborhood with commercial zones originally created to support several local businesses giving the area a small “village shop” feel. The size, design and appearance of the proposed CVS does not fit the character of this neighborhood or our community.
· Impact on Winchester town center. Approval of the new mega CVS store would lead to the closure of the downtown Winchester center CVS which is a cornerstone and integral part to the vitality of our center and the other businesses that operate there. Closing downtown Winchester CVS will significantly impact the vitality of Winchester center businesses. The 2010 Master Plan outlines the goals of enhancing Winchester town center, including “maintaining the town center’s vibrancy” and “to develop a business recruitment and retention plan”. Creating a consumer destination outside of downtown is in direct opposition to these components of the master plan, and will in fact draw consumers out of downtown. The vacant building currently used by CVS will create a gaping hole in the center of town, and significantly reduce foot traffic, damaging the sustainable success of all the other local businesses in Town Center.
· Traffic. A commercial building of this size will further complicate the existing traffic congestion on Washington and Swanton Street causing significant delays to Winchester Hospital (safety concern), the Transfer Station, Muraco School, St. Mary's Church, Rt. 93/95 access, etc. All streets connecting Washington & Highland Avenue will dramatically suffer from cut through traffic, as well as surrounding neighborhoods from Irving Street to Swanton Street, and Oak Street to Holland Street.
· Safety. Safety concerns include increased crime, increased traffic (see above), 55 ft. delivery trucks navigating residential neighborhoods, risk to children walking to schools as well as pedestrians walking to town center, train, etc.
· Preservation of neighborhood character. The scope of this project is not in accordance with the character of the neighborhood. Although this parcel is technically designated as commercial zoning, the property abuts residential homes on all four sides. The proposed design is bigger than the aggregate of the 3 existing structures scheduled to be demolished and does not have a community “village shop” feel. In addition, the parking lot commercial lighting will certainly be an intrusion for all nearby residents.
Winchester is not alone in its fight to protect our small town integrity. These other communities have fought the expansion of CVS in their town:
· Hudson River region, NY
· Nantucket, MA
· Sebastopol, CA
· Carrboro, NC
To learn more about CVS’s unwanted expansion go to:
URL link to the Town of Winchester website and all of the current documents submitted by CVS: http://www.winchester.us/index.php/government/appointed-boards/34-appointed-boards/95-board-of-appeals.html