KATONAH, N.Y. -- CVS announced that it is no longer pursuing a proposed expansion and relocation of its Katonah location.
"CVS/pharmacy respects the decision of Bedford’s town board and we plan to remain in our current location at its existing size," spokesman Mike DeAngelis said in a statement. "We appreciated hearing the feedback from residents who either opposed or supported our plan to expand our Katonah store and we look forward to continue serving the pharmacy needs of the Katonah community."
CVS, which has been located at the southern end of Katonah Shopping Center since arriving last November, sought to relocate to the central part of the plaza and raise is space to 6,928 square feet. The pharmacy had filed a building permit application with the town, which detailed its proposal. The new space would have taken up four existing spaces and involved the dismantling of demising walls.
The proposal drew opposition from people in the community, who worried that a larger CVS would adversely affect the hamlet's character. Some also questioned the need for a larger CVS, given that a similarly sized one is near by.
The opposition manifested itself in June through an online petition and a protest held in downtown Katonah. That month, the Bedford Town Board took up proposed legislation that would lower the cap on first-floor retail space allowed in hamlet centers from 7,500 square feet to just 4,000, a change that would put the pharmacy's proposed expansion in jeopardy.
CVS' attorneys argued that the proposed legislation was targeting their client. Town officials either did not mention the pharmacy chain or denied that it is targeting any specific entity.
The Town Board unanimously approved lowering the cap, which affects a pair of commercial zones in the town's three hamlet areas, at a vote on July 7.
Resident Kate Galligan, who has been a vocal critic of the expansion proposal, is pleased with the news.
"Hopefully, this will be the beginning of a more harmonious relationship between the Katonah CVS and the community - and it is proof that people can stand up to a giant like CVS, and sometimes, the giant will even listen," she stated.
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