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Change may be good

From time to time, real estate owners in the Lenox Historic District attempt to make change without regard to the historic signicance of its past. This is why we have a Historic District Commission.

Then there is the argument that change is good.

In the ongoing case of Glenn A. Hoff, who wants to change his use from a gasoline-repair station to a gasoline-convenience store, some people agree and note the free enterprise system.

Then there is Daniel M. O’Brien, who feels threatened by the change and notes that it will have an adverse effect on his business.

Thus, he is challenging issues before the Lenox Zoning Board of Appeals involving parking, traffic etc.

Now comes an outside vendor, who has the capital, the experience and the where-for-all to put a new building in at a major intersection in Lenox’s Historic District.

Agreed, the arrival of Cumberland Farms, Inc.( Cumby’s) would be a change. It would meet some opposition at each stage. This is not bad. Usually the more questions, the more vocal the result is a better product or building.

The good news is that Cumby’s would buy out both parties and revamp the area.

For some, it would change the look of disabled vehicles, piles of tires, and no restroom.

Yet, the value here is that there is someone to pump your gasoline and check your oil. And there is “free air” for your tires, basketballs etc.

For those who like to be acknowledged by Dan and have an array of selections in the store, this would be replaced by snacks, pizza and promo foods on the go with the new store.

Where can you get a jug of ice tea for $.49 when you buy the big gulp container for $2.00 plus?

Yes, change may come. If not today, tomorrow, next month, next year.

For the preservationist, these businesses have been here more than 30 years each.

It is their home. It is our home, yet change will be coming with or without ZBA approval, which might result in an appeal to superior court.

Whatever happens to the two businesses will affect not only the future of the individual properties, but Lenox’s downtown.

It is time for the merchants to attend the ZBA hearings-not necessarily to support either owner-but to become aware that change is coming, which could have an economic effect on the whole town as well as individual businesses.

So, too, members of The Lenox Chamber of Commerce.

When there is a major change, there is a ripple effect. Other changes occur!

Case in point: Let’s say Cumby’s built its new proto-type store. It would affect the existing coffee shops, it would affect part of Loeb’s business in terms of sale of beverages and to a degree it might affect some of the restaurants in terms of “cheap take-out of sandwiches and pizza.”

Remember, Cumby’s today is run on technology of tomorrow with promo (film/audio) at the pump and with its gas card, at $.10 off per gallon.

Change is coming…keep your ears to the ground.

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Posted by on August 15, 2013. Filed under Editorials,Opinion. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry
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