From Racine County Eye:
By Heather Asiyanbi in Business, Government · September 18, 2015
"After Mayor John Dickert cast the tie-breaking vote rejecting the proposed CVS Pharmacy at Ohio Street and Washington Avenue, several readers contacted Racine County Eye asking why the store was turned away.
"The new store was planned at more than 13,000 square feet. A new CVS
would have replaced its current store a half-mile east at West and
Washington, and that store would close.
"CVS had an option to purchase the buildings housing Racine Cyclery,
American Coin, the vacant building in between and the empty cash store
next door to Racine Cyclery. The store also was going to buy at least
three homes and level it all to make way for the new pharmacy and
"In order to move forward with the project, the Common Council would
have had to approve rezoning the parcels to a commercial designation.
Several alderpersons opposed the change because the area is supposed to
be a buffer zone between the commercial corridor on the west side of the
intersection and the residential neighborhoods of Manree Park and West
Racine to the east.
"After an August 3 vote denying the necessary rezone request, Alderman
Henry Perez introduced a reconsideration measure, but it was defeated
Sept. 1 with the 8-7 vote in which Dickert cast the tie-breaker.
"When Racine County Eye reached out to the mayor to ask why he voted
against CVS at Ohio and Washington, he said it wasn’t to turn away a
business with which the city wants to partner. Instead, it was about
preserving the area as the buffer zone it was designed to be.
"'Look, I know people are disappointed, and I hope this isn’t the end
of our discussions with CVS,' he said. 'But I voted "no" because I think
we could have set ourselves up with a dangerous precedent that would
have worked against us in the future.'
"Dickert pointed to the gradual transition along Washington Avenue
from commercial to residential and how changing the rules for CVS could
open up the 4300 and 4400 hundred blocks to more commercial development
which would irreparably alter the neighborhood.
"Both of those blocks on the south side of the street each include one
business and a handful of homes. The north side of the street is
"'What happens if we say "yes" to CVS and then other businesses want
to come in and point to what we did there to support their requests to
do the same on those other blocks?' Dickert added. 'The change to the
neighborhood would be irreversible, and then we’d face similar
situations in other areas of the city, and I don’t think, in the end,
that our residents want that.'
"Perez – who represents the district that includes the proposed CVS
site – disagrees with the mayor. He said he doesn’t see a dangerous
precedent and said that was actually discussed early in the process with
CVS, but didn’t see a problem because West Racine transitions into a
solid commercial district betwesn Blaine and West Blvds."
Read more: http://racinecountyeye.com/you-asked-cvs-rejected-to-avoid-dangerous-precedent/
Party on, lying John!