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Showdown Tuesday over Stewart's site

They privately have expressed frustrations that at a prior planning board meeting, they were told not to speak, and at recent town board meetings - with the exception of one hearing - they were also quieted and told to take their concerns to the planning board.

Town officials Tuesday said that they've heard the planning board was going to ban public comment at the Tuesday meeting, but they urged them not to. Attempts to reach the planning board chairman Tuesday weren't successful.

The town board made a controversial decision about two months ago approving a zoning change of a segment of the lot facing Elm Street, from Professional Multi-family to Hamlet Commercial, to allow stores.

Opponents of the relocation said the convenience store would be more compatible in Stewart's present location downtown, which is fully commercial, rather than encroaching into an historic district that includes homes on the National Register of Historic Places, and Richards Library, a stone structure steeped in history.

Neighboring Bed and Breakfast enterprise owners and historical society members have expressed anger over the Stewart Farrar location, citing traffic problems, reduced property values, and safety of school children who regularly walk to school nearby.

Town board members have cited their fears that if denied their favored Stewart Farrar site, Stewart's might relocate their store on state Rte. 9 at the entrance of the hamlet, just over the town line. Such a short move south, they say, will mean Stewart's property taxes will be paid not to the town of Warrensburg, but to the town of Lake George.

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