A note from Helen Shane...
Thank you to all who’ve stuck with us during this long, drawn out battle.
The initial goal that John Kramer and I set was to require an Environmental Impact Report before being allowed to proceed with the project. What courts will decide is never certain. Bear in mind that in matters such as this, there is no jury. The parties present documents and other evidence to a judge, who deliberates and then hands down a verdict.
We believed that we had a fair chance of prevailing. The judge might have decreed:
1) …the Mitigated Negative Declaration issued by the City Council on July 5, 2011 was indeed based on a flawed traffic study, and was therefore, invalid. Or not.
2) The judge might then have forced a new traffic study. Or not.
3) That new traffic study might have proven that an Environmental Impact Report was required. Or not.
4) An EIR might have made evident that no such auto-centric project should be allowed there.
Or that it was suitable for such a project.
So many “might haves”.
When CVS sought to settle both the case they brought against the city regarding the drive through moratorium, and the Small Town Suit, we weighed all of the above. Coupling the “might haves” with the certainty that the settlement means:
1) No drive through anywhere on the property.
2) No left turns into or out of the site to add to our traffic problems.
3) The parcel will be divided into five separate legal parcels to allow for businesses other than CVS and Chase and their parking lot to occupy that corner.
4) The CVS building will be set back so that it will be less evident at the town entrance; it will have solar installed and signs will be discreet.
5) It will be a two-story building that could, at a later date, be repurposed with 2nd story offices and/or residential.
6) The suit by CVS against the City regarding drive throughs will be moot, thereby saving the City further litigation and attorney fees.
7) CVS will pay cash a settlement of $150,000 toward synchronization of traffic flow and to pay Small Town attorney fees of about $25,000.
After much negotiation over several weeks, we decided to settle.
July 5, 2014 is the third anniversary of the issuance of the Mitigated Negative Declaration by the City Council.
I am grateful for the partnership with John Kramer who stuck with this as long as he was able. He died on February 26 of this year.
I thank each of you for your constancy throughout the past three plus years. Knowing you were with us was important.
P.S. We are a small town. We feel it was important that this large corporation not have its own way in our community. We are friendly, we are quirky, we are artsy, and we don’t just roll over. We hope that is noted within the corporate world.
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has." Margaret Mead