Citizens speak out against proposed store relocation

WARRENSBURG - Citing traffic, pedestrian safety and community heritage concerns, a lineup of local citizens spoke out Tuesday against Stewart's Shops' plan to relocate a convenience store and gas station to the intersection of Stewart Farrar Ave. and Main St.

Tuesday's initial site plan review session was held by the Warrensburg Planning Board, which set a subsequent public hearing for 7 p.m. Tuesday June 8 to hear more opinions on the proposed development.

The Warrensburg Town Hall was nearly full for this initial meeting.

Dorothy Potter, who lives next to the Presbyterian Church across from the proposed store said in passionate tones that although the town would garner a little more tax revenue than they are now receiving from the Stewart's store now located on Main St., such gains would be offset dramatically. Potter said all the houses in that historic area, especially the bed and breakfasts, would decrease in value, and town property tax revenue was likely to decline.

Potter said could see no reason to put more business on a short little street, Stewart Farrar, that is overcrowded now. She spoke of tractor-trailers making deliveries to the convenience store, causing traffic problems and creating a nuisance in this primarily residential neighborhood. Resident Paul Weick ask the planning board members and the audience whether they would like it if a Stewart's was built across from their homes.

Weick warned that traffic would increase through a historic and gracious area of town to access the new convenience store, particularly after the Milton Avenue bridge is reconstructed and reopened. He also said neighbors of the store would experience headlights shining into their bedrooms at all hours of the night if the store were developed where it is planned.

"We have made mistakes in the past, let's not make more," Weick said of town planning.

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