Published: Mar 01, 2013 12:36 PM
Modified: Mar 01, 2013 12:37 PM
CARRBORO - Residents who don’t want to see another CVS in downtown Carrboro may not be able to avoid one.
While developer Reddlands Inc. withdrew its rezoning request before a public hearing Tuesday night, it is still pursuing a plan to build a new CVS in the center of downtown.
The rezoning could have allowed a 24,590 square-foot two-story building with 61 parking spaces for a 24-hour CVS replacing the Carr Mill store the company says it has outgrown.
“Some people thought this (public hearing on Tuesday) was heading towards not allowing CVS on this corner,” said Alderman Sammy Slade, “And that’s just not the case.”
Neighbors who are against having a chain store amid the historic mill houses of Old Carrboro started a protest petition opposed to the rezoning.
But at Tuesday’s public hearing, with more than 100 residents in attendance, no members of the community got the chance to speak.A smaller CVS
Along with the rezoning application, the developer submitted a conditional use permit, which is required for any proposed high-density retail development in a conditional business area.
But the board postponed the public hearing on the permit since the permit application presented on Tuesday did not comply with the current zoning.
The developer will have to present a revised permit application to the Planning Board, and possibly other town advisory boards, before returning to the aldermen, possibly in April.
Under the current zoning, only three of the six properties involved in the development are conditional business use, which permits high-density retail stores like CVS.
The other three properties that are zoned as residential and fringe commercial, which is a transitional zoning district for small-scale commercial businesses along residential areas.
Since the proposed CVS would now be limited to three properties, instead of six, at the corner of Greensboro Street and Weaver Street, the new plan will involve a smaller building, though probably not smaller than the existing CVS across the street.
The public hearing for conditional use permits, unlike rezoning requests, is considered a quasi-judicial hearing, which prohibits board members from commenting beforehand.
Slade said the board members have a much different role when judging a conditional use permit compared to a rezoning application.
“(The quasi-judicial hearing) takes away our legislative ability to determine something on values aside from what the zoning ordinance allows,” Slade said. “Our judgment of a rezoning application takes into account the values of the community, which is not the case for the conditional use permit.”Carr Mill CVS
Nathan Milian, property manager of Carr Mill shopping center, said the existing CVS has an option in its lease to expand its 8,125 square foot store up to 22,000 square feet.
But, he said, the CVS renters have never asked about expanding.
CVS representative Mike DeAngelis said a freestanding store is more convenient for customers.
“The shopping habits of consumers have changed over the years and the priority is no longer on in-line or difficult-to-access stores,” he said.
If CVS does move, it is uncertain what will happen to the current store space.
Last February, the Harris Teeter real estate director wrote a letter to town officials stating the company’s intention to expand into the CVS space if the drugstore leaves. Milian said he hasn’t heard from Harris Teeter representatives.
“Harris Teeter does have a right in their lease to expand, but negotiations would have to take place for that to happen.”