City of Charles Town CVS Pharmacy Project at West & Washington
To: The Honorable Mayor Peggy Smith & Members of Charles Town City Council
Sponsored by: Citizens of Charles Town & Jefferson County as signed below
As a Citizen of Charles Town and/or Jefferson County I/we oppose the construction of the CVS Pharmacy as currently proposed to be located at the intersection of Washington Street and West Street in the central business district of Historic Charles Town. While I/we understand and support economic growth and continued revitalization of the downtown Charles Town Central Business District, I/we have the following concerns for this project as listed below:
• Visual & Architectural loss to the Historic Overlay District.
• Location of a Big Box Corporate Entity at the western gateway to Historic Charles Town.
• Demolition of four contributing structures to the Downtown Charles Town Historic District and two residential structures in the Old Charles Town Historic District. (Under HLC guidelines demolition of contributing structures requires extraordinary reason. In planning for this project no alternatives to demolition have been analyzed).
• Loss of existing small business and retail space.
• Loss of the 68% small businesses reinvest in the local economy in favor of 43% of chain stores
• Possible de-listing of the Downtown Charles Town Historic District by the National Trust resulting in loss of grant money and tax credits to the City and individual business owners. (examples of preservation grants/tax credits received: Save America’s Treasures: $325K; Transportation Enhancement Grants: $987K; SHPO Grants $79K; Tax Credits: $1,392,873)
• Incompatibility with the City’s Comprehensive Plan.
• Loss of occupied retail space at the Hilldale Shopping Center at Augustine Avenue with no replacement solution by City Officials.
• Traffic congestion at the major intersection of Washington and West Street with increased traffic stoppage with ingress and egress into/out of the site.
I /we urge you to reconsider the CVS project; to work with the Applicant to find a more suitable location for the CVS store within Charles Town city limits; work to find a better suited infill project that will bring economic growth and revitalization that will be in harmony with the Historic Overlay District, existing architecture and buildings, and will support/provide space for local small businesses working within the City’s Comprehensive Plan.