Advisory Plan Commission approves CVS Pharmacy, Get Go gas station 7-2

The CVS Pharmacy has residential aspects. (Submitted rendering)

The CVS Pharmacy has residential aspects. (Submitted rendering)

By Anna Skinner

The Advisory Plan Commission held a meeting Sept. 6 and approved the CVS Pharmacy and Get Go gas station to the Harmony Planned Unit Development District Amendment.

The commission was divided, with Tom Smith and Nathan Day voting against the development.

The development had changed since first being introduced, adding residential characteristics such as overhangs, gooseneck lighting and a masonry base.  All future developments in the PUD are expected to follow the residential characteristics of the Harmony neighborhood.

In past meetings, many residents had spoken out against the Get Go gas station, saying they didn’t want another gas station in the area becasue it could bring crime and noise.

“This has been a long process.  I have been heavily involved in this project from the beginning,” APC Member Steve Hoover said. “There has been significant movement from when this project introduced. I know there are many opposed to a gas station, and I just want the neighbors and concerned citizens to know I don’t take these decisions lightly. If I believed this will be a huge increase in crime in the area and there will be pollution of neighborhoods … I don’t believe there’s a high risk of either of those issues. Another reason I support this is the architectural changes that have been made to both facilities. And furthermore, it will affect the entire development. The village-style architecture has been very well-received. If this is approved as presented, it could eliminate the chance of fast food in this entire development, which could be a huge advantage to the sit-down restaurants we are trying to encourage to locate in this area.”

However, APC Member Tom Smith was against the project.

“I found it extremely eye-opening to listen to people who came to both meetings for public comments,”  he said.  “It’s a neighborhood everybody moved in at the same time, and they have a great deal of interest of how the thing grows. I tend to listen to that regardless of how the gas station has improved or what kind of roof it has or what kind of walls it has. If the people in the community don’t want a gas station, I’m convinced that the overall majority out there doesn’t want a gas station of any kind. I cannot support something that is so despised by so many people in the neighborhood.”

Despite concerns of the some of the APC members, the amendment was approved 7-2.

The next plan commission meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Sept. 19 at Westfield City Hall, 130 Penn St.