On March 25th, the Westerville, Ohio Planning Commission delivered some bitter medicine to the CVS drugstore chain. By a 4-3 vote, the Commission voted to reject a revised site plan application for a proposed 11,000 s.f. convenience store on the corner State and Walnut Streets. According to ThisWeek news, work on the project is now halted. The developer still could appeal this decision, submit a new plan, or ask the Commission to reconsider their vote. Last November, a CVS for the same site received a 4-3 vote to approve a site plan and a conditional use permit for the project. Residents appealed that decision. The City’s Review Board rejected the plan in December. In February, the City Council declined to rezone part of the site, but voted to send the appeals back to the Planning Commission and Review Board. Local residents report that more than 1,300 people have signed a petition against the CVS store, and the Olde Westerville Protective Association has picketed another CVS in the city, asking shoppers not to patronize CVS unless they withdraw their plans in Westerville. People at the picket turned in their CVS “customer care” cards. Neighbors have complained that the site CVS wants is the gateway to the historic Uptown Westerville. The group also invited CVS CEO Tom Ryan to visit Westerville to see “what a tragic mistake his company is making by pursuing the current location.” An historic church would have to be raized to make room for the CVS building and parking lot.
Members of the Olde Westerville Protective Association say they are not sure the CVS plan is dead, but they plan not to ease up until CVS announces it has given up the project. For local contacts, email [email protected] and search by “CVS” for related stories.