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CVS Developers At Odds With Small Town Seeking To 'Save' Its History

The proposed location for a new CVS with Drive-Thru is at the intersection of Main, High, and Pleasant streets.
The proposed location for a new CVS with Drive-Thru is at the intersection of Main, High, and Pleasant streets. Photo Credit: Copyright 2020 Google Maps

A proposed CVS with Drive-Thru has irked some residents of a small Massachusetts community enough to start a petition to “save” downtown.

Arista Development is proposing to build a 12,850-square-foot CVS with a drive-thru on four lots bounded by High, Main, and Pleasant streets in Spencer.

The Zoning Board of Appeals will hold a public hearing on the proposal Sept. 29, in the Town Hall on Main Street at 7 p.m. The meeting will be conducted in-person and remotely to accommodate for COVID-19 distancing.

A petition against the development was placed on Change.org months ago in an effort to stop construction. Among other permits, CVS is seeking a special permit to put the building in a residential zone. Petition author William Fortin said that if the town starts allowing corporations to build in residential neighborhoods, it will set a bad precedent.

“Also,” he said, “this project will detract from our 125-year-old town’s appearance.”

Downtown Spencer has been on the National Register of Historic Places since the 1980s.

So far Fortin’s petition has garnered about 250 signatures; he is seeking 500. Fewer than 12,000 people live in Spencer.

Arista Development is owned by The Estate of William D. Ekleberry, Richard Cormier, and S-BNK Spencer LLC.

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