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Anthony Street CVS Could Be Coming to Town

Pending re-zone approval, a CVS is planned to be built on Anthony Street.

In a previous version of the story, it was reported that Seekonk Zoning Board members reviewed plans to build a CVS on Anthony Street. According to Town Planner John Hansen, it was Planning Board members who reviewed them.

A much-talked about Anthony Street CVS is well on its way to becoming a fixture in town after Seekonk Planning Board members gave thumbs up to plan reviews. 

Conversations with the board were an essential first step to transition the two residential lots on Anthony Street to a commercially zoned area, necessity for the CVS to be built. The parcels of land located at 16 and 24 Anthony St. are adjacent to commercial property which has remained untouched for 100 years.

“There were no negative comments ... and the positive recommendation will help. . . It’s not much a stretch,” said Hansen, who did not foresee the CVS as an issue.

The two proposed lots are currently residentially occupied. If the re-zoning is successful with a two-thirds vote in the Town Hall Meeting, a site-plan will then be submitted to additional boards whose members will address different facets of the property. Then pending the approvals, CVS will propose to buy the properties from the owners.

Since the lots border on wetlands, the Seekonk Conservation Board will have a voice in the matter; a parcel of land will be used to buffer the commercial and residential zones.

However, Hansen anticipates there may be some concerns from neighbors worried the CVS may encroach upon personal property. Residents within a certain radius have been informed of the potential zoning changes.

But before blueprints can become an architectural reality, the proposal will be presented before voters in the Town Hall meeting scheduled for June 20.

"It only takes 33 people to show up and say ‘no’ during the Town Meeting," said Hansen, noting the re-zone could be halted by voter objection.

Mary M June 08, 2011 at 03:06 AM
DF Pray Meeting: The corner has already been approved for a small business & we were warned it could be another coffee drive thru (D.Donuts, etc). They want us to vote yes to approve the 3 lots around the corner (includes 2 homes) to be commercial. CVS has an “interest” but it’s not definite. My concern is-If we vote Yes & CVS says No .. then what will end up there. It’s open for anything at that point. DF Pray said they could stipulate that it would be use for Pharmacy only- but keyword is “could” - but would they. And even at that .. why do we need another Pharmacy (Sams, Walmart, Target, Stop N Shop, Rite Aid, & CVS (E.P.)). Having said that: CVS on 136 is 33’, Seekonk would be 25’ (of course it’s on a hill already). After saying yes to the commercial approval .. we would then have to later vote & approve size of the signs, lights, etc. I was told it would not be open 24 hrs & no deliveries would be made at night. Driving East on Rt 6 you would be able to take a left turn into CVS (nightmare in my opinion). There will be an in & out of CVS from Anthony St. & from Rt 6. They added that they will build around the wetlands & make it better. Note: DF Pray's plans look good & promising ... but I still feel traffic is going to be a problem ... and what happens IF after we say Yes ... CVS says No .. there is no going back. It's approved commercial & out of our hands. Town Meeting to vote on it is June 20th. Comments? Feelings?
Mary M June 08, 2011 at 03:08 AM
It's going to be a "Not Your Average Joe's"
Mary M June 08, 2011 at 03:13 AM
Please confirm the delivery time. I was told tonight that Seekonk has a Quiet Law ... no noise after 10 pm ! If this is true (Beep, Beep, Beep .. all night) .. you may be able to fight those delivery times. I was told CVS bends over backwards for it's customer / neighbors!
Mary M June 08, 2011 at 03:19 AM
From what I heard Walmart plans to take over Top of the Court & Fantasyland & any Wetlands behind it (if approved by voters) ... not sure why they wasted money on updating the old Walmart if this plan is in process ... and what happens to THAT building!
Mary M June 08, 2011 at 03:20 AM
Speed Bumps ... like they do in the crappy parts of Providence.
deb of see-attleboro June 08, 2011 at 10:25 AM
You are on the money, Mary. People need to understand how things REALLY work. Our only assignment as voters is the up or down on the rezone. After that, it is out of our hands. All variances and permits will go through the appropriate boards. CVS may have strong arguments for night deliveries and 24 hr service. I don't know if they have to get permission to renege on any promises. Businesses only look to the bottom line. And once it is rezoned, it may not be a CVS. It could be a gas station, a restaurant, a massage parlor or a lingerie shop that parks a box truck with a picture of a scantily clad sex goddess plastered on it's side.
Russ Horsman June 08, 2011 at 11:00 AM
Some clarification: When the vote is taken at the town meeting to change the zoning, the citizens can place caveats on the change such as the commercial lot can only hold a pharmacy type store. So, if CVS backed out, it would be zoned for a specific purpose and it could not be used for any purpose not approved at town meeting. This would be in the laws and not up to the interpretation of the property owner. As for deliveries at odd hours or 24 hour operations (which currently is not proposed) these details will be dealt with at the planning board during site plan review. Any requirements placed on the project at the planning board are enforceable through the town building department.
J L R June 08, 2011 at 12:32 PM
This whole thing makes me ill. I hope to God people will get fired up, go to the town meeting and stop this from going through.
deb of see-attleboro June 08, 2011 at 01:17 PM
Russ: The truth is the only way for the neighborhoood to assure that their quality of life is not negatively affected is to go to town meeting, excercise their right to vote and convince others to do the same. This is a huge uphill battle for them. I am going to guess that every member of every board will support the rezone. This is quite a few people. They are charged with looking at the town as a whole. They do not give a hoot about who will be displaced or what will be built. They see dollar signs. That's it. Same thing for those living in the center of town. Then there is the issue of timing and how summer heat will affect town meeting attendance. And, Russ, what would be considered a "pharmacy type store". Can you point to a bylaw or state law that explains how one can restrict a piece of land to a specific "type" of business? I can think of a mixed use zone or an adult entertainment zone. I remember when Cumberand Farms was Sunnybrook. There were no gas pumps. I don't recall a town meeting that allowed for the change. That doesn't mean one did not occur. I just don't recall one.
Russ Horsman June 08, 2011 at 01:40 PM
Deb, I live on Winthrop St, so I am an affected neighbor. I was able to walk five minutes to DF Pray last night for the meeting. I have posted to the Patch why, as a neighbor, I am in support of this project. As for limiting the zoning of the parcel, that can be done by the assembled voters at the town meeting. After the issue leaves the town meeting, the final plans will go before the various boards but will have to adhere to the rules issued at town meeting.
deb of see-attleboro June 08, 2011 at 01:50 PM
Yes, Russ. You are an affected neighbor. But you are first and formost a planning board member. You would be shirking your primary responsibility to the town if you did not support this project. Others in the neighborhood may support the project. But they should not be fooled into believing this lot can only be used for a CVS or any pharmacy, for that matter. I hope the moderator can keep town meeting focused on what we are charged to do. Otherwise, we could l be their all night.
deb of see-attleboro June 08, 2011 at 01:54 PM
BTW, there is a similar location perfectly suited for a CVS. Last I checked, the old Showcase is still for sale. Or is the land restricted to "theatre type businesses"
Mary M June 08, 2011 at 02:14 PM
I wonder if CVS will be interested if they know Super Wal-Mart will be right next to them. Either way “something” will go in that corner. We have to choose what we feel is the lesser of 2 evils. Let a business take over 1 lot (already zoned) or take over 4 lots. It won’t just effect people living on/off Anthony. If that intersection becomes a traffic problem .. I will use Olney St., Cole St. & County St. I’m sure other will to. I rarely use the Cumberland Farms on Rt 6 .. I always drive to Rochelles (longer dist.) due to the traffic in that area. No one thought to ask DF Pray how long the project will take & where will they park the construction vehicles. Will we even have access to that intersection, during the project? Russ, maybe you could give them a call.
Claire June 08, 2011 at 02:52 PM
Russ: I'm just curious as to why you want that corner further developed. As Mary M. notes, it is already a nightmare. As to using the Cole/ Fall River Ave. intersection near the old Showcase: Do people remember the quote by the Seekonk police building committee as to using the fireplace site for a station? "That intersection is too busy for a police station. It would be difficult for cruisers to get in/out." Well the heck with the rest of us residents who live in the area and have that intersection or Anthony/Fall River as options. I used to have a job in Warwick as a recovery room nurse. When the OR called me in I had 1/2 hour to get to the hospital and warm up the monitoring equipment. After about 2 years as the traffic in my area became so bad that I could not get out of Seekonk in enough time to get to the hospital I had to give up the job. I thought that the last census of esidents came out in favor of maintaining a more rural environ. I guess our opinions mean squat. Are we becoming the next North Providence?
Peter Hoogerzeil June 08, 2011 at 03:36 PM
I urge all residents concerned about this matter to attend Town Meeting on Monday June 20th. I have concerns about the CVS and the Super Wal-Mart. The main thing I am concerned with is traffic. I believe we need to require both developers for each project to pay for an independent traffic feasibility study. If I do not see that done and presented to the voters, I will definitely vote NO at Town Meeting. It will also be instructive to start looking at other properties in the Route 6 corridor and review their current Zoning classifications. Then we can get a total picture of what the possibilities are going into the future. Maybe that process can be added to our town’s Master Plan. I agree that the problem is with the Town, not the developers. We went a long while without a Town Planner, and I believe Mr. Hanson is doing a good job. But there are many issues, mistakes, and problems that have piled-up over the years to deal with. The best we can do as concerned citizens is helping him in this process. Please keep up the informative and productive posts, and please back that up with an engaged attendance to our Town Meetings!
Russ Horsman June 08, 2011 at 04:25 PM
First, I believe Mary M is right. "Something" will be going there. This is our chance to help to choose. I have reviewed the plan, and in my opinion (posted in the Patch blog section) this CVS is a good plan. My personal beliefs are that it will be the least intrusive to the neighborhood, and the wetlands will be protected. As Mary M has asked, I will contact DF Pray and see what the schedule and construction parking plan will be. I will report back here when I receive an answer. As for the traffic, I understand that the State Transportation Department will require a traffic study for any project impacting Route 6 (both the CVS and the potential Walmart). So, as a private citizen, I approve of the plan for CVS. I believe that a strong commercial tax base on Route 6 will only serve to help keep the rest of the town a wonderful place to live.
Mary M June 08, 2011 at 05:06 PM
There is no guarantee it will be CVS & as far as the wetlands .. who's to say they will protect them forever, they could fill them in years later. If we approve the properties to be zoned commercial, they can do anything they want in the next 5 or 10 yrs from now - am I right?
deb of see-attleboro June 08, 2011 at 05:11 PM
Can you clarify, Russ? My understanding is that if we vote NO on the rezone, the homes must remain residential property. If we vote yes, the property becomes zoned for business. Am I correct?
Russ Horsman June 08, 2011 at 05:45 PM
Deb, you are correct. If two-thirds of the vote is not reached to change the zoning at town meeting, the plots will remained zoned residential. The corner will still be commercial, and as such, any commercial use can be put there. The ability to put caveats on the zoning will only happen as an amendment to the motion to change the zoning at town meeting. Mary, for the wetlands, I believe that the conservation law is even above the town level. If those laws are broken by changing or filling in the wetland, then the State will impose sanctions. I will need to check this information though. Either way, there are repercussions for harming a wetland.
Claire June 08, 2011 at 05:47 PM
You are so right Robert P. When I moved to Seekonk the big commercial industries on Rt 6 in Seekonk were Ann&Hope, the Bay State and Seekonk Twin Drive-ins. I have watched as the town has "expanded its tax base" with enormous development of Rt. 6. Instead of an improved quality of life I am receiving less services from the Town for my taxes and a DEFINITE DECREASE in the quality of life in Seekonk. There are so many unoccupied buildings on Rt. 6 now that the tax base is actually decreasing as these rental buildings without tenents are taxed at a reduced rate. The only one benefiting from Rt. 6 is the State. Since the plaza where Target is was developed I have experienced hookers bringing their Johns into the neighborhood to conduct business behind my house, thieves from the stores being chased by police through the neighborhood, watched drug deals go down in the school parking lot and it goes on and on. Thanks for the improved quality of life planners.
Mary M June 08, 2011 at 05:56 PM
Allen Kapstein is already zoned business (1 lot) - Vote No and it stays that way. Threat: Kapstein may stay but if they close - Scott Pray will build whatever he wants on that hill. Say yes .. and 1 lot to the left of Kapstein & 2 homes on Anthony become zoned for business. I thought Wal-mart & Sam's were owned by the same. I have NOTHING again CVS ... I DO have a problem with saying yes to change 2 properties from residential to business when there is NO NEED. There are SO many empty building's that could be used. Force all these companies to occupy those empty buildings first before building new ones. Drive down Rt 6 towards Swansea and count the buildings that are for sale / lease. Sad Don't let them fool you by saying it will bring in new jobs (not guaranteed to be a CVS) - it will also take away business & possible jobs from the neighborhood competing companies. People have to show up for the meeting (and make sure you are a registered voter).
Mary M June 08, 2011 at 06:24 PM
My husband & I are both voting NO.
deb of see-attleboro June 08, 2011 at 06:32 PM
Russ: In the present configuration, the commercial lot that is currently Kapsteins is constrained by a myriad of zoning bylaws. For instance, parking space is limited. There are height restrictions. So technically, it is not an appropriate location for the vast majority of businesses. The zoning change will make all the difference for the developer. You said you originally did not support this project. I originally DID support this project. I have changed my mind because I do think the traffic, danger and quality of life are real issues to the neighborhoods. The location is so close to a school zone. It is already a cut through for many residents and non-residents. I went through there last weekend during Martin's spring fling. I have driven down Cole and have been surprised by the number of children and families spending the day at the ball fields with the cars parked on the sidewalk and the side roads. Anything we can do to offer those folks some relief, we should do.
Darline Almeida June 09, 2011 at 12:50 AM
Just a little history: I use to work for a local bank that was located where Starbucks currently is. CVS used to be located in the same plaza, if my memory serves me correct, it was located some where near Home goods. This of course is dating back to the early 1990's. Why did CVS leave Seekonk back then and now years later, they want to return?
Mary M June 09, 2011 at 01:57 AM
CVS got scared away by F&M Drug. They ran away without even giving F&M a chance to fail. F&M was later sued (I think by Procter & Gamble) - they closed and we were left with nothing! Note: They may not want to return - it's an "interest" only at this point.
Mary M June 09, 2011 at 02:05 AM
Tonight me & my husband were stopped on Rt 6 (going East) waiting for the light change so we could take a left turn onto Anthony. We were parked & waiting at the spot where customers (if a CVS) will be able to make a left turn. My husband looked at me in shock when I told him & said "WHAT .. they are going to be able to stop HERE and hold up traffic, until they can cut across! So in other words .... I'm NEVER going to make it home!" Yup .. that's the plan. I was also told by DF Pray that IF CVS thinks that area is a traffic problem .... they WON'T build there. That tells me they are going to take one look it and say forget it (but it will already be zoned for business .. to late to change the vote) ... & something else will be built.
dmj June 10, 2011 at 12:32 PM
I vote NO! We have to stop and think of our neighborhoods that have made our town the town it is. Neighborhoods and farm land has made up this town NOT big box stores and BIG businesses. The more & more business we let in this town it seems the less and less we are getting for in town services, via police, fire & schools. Have we not closed one school due to money, we have eliminated courses in both the MS &HS, we have huge class sizes in the Elementary schools. This is just not the same school system that it was many years ago. I am so glad I am not a parent of a young student in the system. I do however feel very badly about many of you that have younger ones. Please pardon me, for I am not sure of the particulars with our fire and police dept, but I am aware that has has been many, many limits that has been imposed on them as well. I think we have to take a step back and look at the "BIG" picture and think of the town as a whole and what makes up our town...
dmj June 10, 2011 at 12:36 PM
If we let them change the zoning on these two houses, when is enough, enough?? Look at the begining of Cole Street and what a mess that is, now they are going build up the other end entering into our neighborhoods?!?!? What has the building projects on the begining of Cole Street done to the property values to the houses over there?!?!? I am thinking the first house on the left didn't think they were going to be sitting in their front yard looking at a drive thru for DD's?!?! Who thought that through??? I am sure if it was the property owner, members of either planning or zoning boards houses they wouldn't be happy! So if any of you think it is a "good" idea just drive down to Cole Street or even knock the door of the people that live there ask them how they feel....I also feel if you let this happen, Cole St. & Anthony St are going to be like RTE 6. They even drive faster on these two streets with a school being there then they do on RTE6!!! This is just wrong!! I say keep our neighborhoods our neighborhoods that have made our town the town it is!
dmj June 10, 2011 at 12:55 PM
Russ, How long have you lived in our town? Let me understand this..you really think it is a goood idea to change the zoning on those two houses so that CVS might want to go in there?? Do you really think this is the less of two evils? What is that going to do letting businesess come in closer to the neighborhood? When if everything stays the same and just let another type of business stay on that conner...I do agree do we need another coffee shop!?!? But at least it will stay on the corner NOT in our neighborhoods! I do understand the strong tax base is helpful (when) the buildings are occupied....let's try to come up with a plan to fill ALLLL of the empty buildings before we allow businesses to come in our neighborhoods. I am sorry if I may seem upset but this not the town I grew up in and want to help perserve what is left and the quality of life, so that like many have come back to raise their childern.
Mary M June 21, 2011 at 04:40 PM
Follow Up: Voters Shoot Down Zoning Change for Anthony St. http://seekonk.patch.com/articles/voters-shoot-down-proposed-anthony-street-zoning-change

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