The below Editorial appeared in the Star Democrat on October 19, 2005:
Save Carroll's Addition
We moved to Easton in 1992 and have always felt lucky we found
such a nice small town to raise our family in, we feel much different
now. We live in Carrolls Addition and the town officials
are breaking their own zoning laws to accommodate a super-size
gasoline and convenience store at the expense of a 70-year-old
Our concerns are if we have zoning laws and the planning and
zoning commission break them, what good
Having even one entrance on Choptank Avenue is breaking one
of their zoning laws. How can they get
I guess the tax money from large corporations is more important than the safety and lifestyle of the people who elected them to their positions! Even if you are not directly affected by the Wawa, think about who may be your neighbor in the future!
Let them know you expect them to follow the laws that protect our property and our lives as Easton citizens.
CARLYE and MARK DePIETRO,
The below Editorial appeared in the Star Democrat on October 19, 2005:
Reroute Wawa plan
I live on the outskirts of Oxford, but my interest in the greater Easton community leads me to write.
One of the most appealing characteristics of this area is the liveability of many neighborhoods in Easton. Carrolls Addition is such a community.
It consists of modest, well-kept homes where kids can play
outside, visit one another and ride bikes. Its
A catastrophe has presented itself to these residents.
A Wawa store, open 24 hours a day, will have an entrance right through their neighborhood streets. They will have to contend with the traffic, the litter, and, most threatening, the appearance of so many unknown people on their quiet streets.
It is baffling to me that Town Council members would approve
an action that could destroy an established
ZENA LERMAN, Oxford
The below Editorial appeared in the Star Democrat on October 18, 2005:
Now is the time to put our people first
Two facts are clear concerning the Wawa crisis. First, Wawas proposed egress onto Choptank Avenue is a nightmare. To turn to the left would bring traffic to the extremely busy Sts. Peter and Paul elementary and high schools.
To turn right would direct traffic toward an already overburdened Dover Street, with its inordinately long backups at Route 50, thus causing a collateral backup into the filling station. The only reasonable exit from Wawa is onto Route 50.
Wawa could accommodate this by creating a merge lane.
Second, however, is the Town of Eastons unconscionable failure to represent its citizens in that neighborhood. The Town and Wawa should start over and devise a new plan. If the Town and Wawa fail to do so, who could blame the citizenry for taking the town and Wawa to court jointly, tying up the project for years?
With an imminent decline in property values and their neighborhoods destruction, they would have no other recourse.
Think of the opportunity for some decent, politically ambitious attorney to represent them pro bono, that lawyers stock on the rise to campaign for democratic reform.
Easton has the opportunity to repair the damage to its leadership and representation. Wawa has the opportunity to develop a reputation for caring for the neighborhood.
BISHOP JOEL M. JOHNSON,Easton
The below Editorial appeared in the Star Democrat on October 16, 2005:
Your neighborhood could be next one
Its unfortunate that some Eastonians fail to grasp the problems facing Carrolls Addition. Although Wawa wants to squeeze too much store onto one of Eastons busiest intersections, thats only part of the problem.
The exit/entrances into Choptank Avenue also will serve a hotel and three fast food joints. Well go from a low-volume, two-pump station occasionally selling soda and chips completely separated from the neighborhood to a 24/7 operation: speakers at the pumps, hot food service, noise, deliveries and trash with exits/entrances into our neighborhood.
For those who say they like the Cambridge and Annapolis Wawas, look to see how far away they are from any residential neighborhoods. I like Wawas, too, but not in my front yard. And not with an invitation to everyone in Easton to cut through my neighborhood (driving too fast and dropping trash as they go) to avoid the dreaded Dover/50 intersection.
Is this such a great idea? Sure, lets increase the chaos and danger at that intersection! Are there no better alternatives for Wawa to locate itself in Easton?
This isnt just about our neighborhood. Is it so hard to make the leap in your vision of the future to see your neighborhood is next? Well, better not yell foul when they come ripping into that buffer zone around your peace and quiet. You better not cry out for compassion from your neighbors or town.
Big business is out there just itching to run roughshod over
The below Editorial appeared in the Star Democrat on
October 13, 2005:
Until recently I would have agreed with those who call Easton the 8th best small town in America.
Now I see reality: its great to come into Easton to buy groceries, go to the Y, or have dinner.
But then youd better be driving back to Beechwood, Corbin Parkway, Woodland Farms, Cordova, North Bend or Waverly. If youre a tourist, its great then, too.
If you actually live in the town, thats a very different story.
If you live in Easton, not only can a big business come in and decide to make your front yard into a major thoroughfare, but the town officials whose salary you help pay will trip all over themselves to push it through.
If you organize a neighborhood protest, itll take the third or the fourth try to get your elected leaders to notice. Then theyll make a big public show of being concerned. When they discover that in their haste they approved an illegal site plan, theyll pit you against the big business rather than deal with it themselves.
Theyll expect you to come up with the solution and give the business the OK to build illegally. When you dont, theyll quietly do exactly what the big business wanted.
Your town will let you down. The message is clear.
HILARY HOLZER, Easton
The below Editorial appeared in the Star Democrat on August 29, 2005:
To the Editor; Star Democrat Newspaper,
My husband and I moved into the Carrolls Addition neighborhood a few years ago after waiting for one of the several homes we liked to come on the market. We sought out this neighborhood. Its quaint bungalows, quiet presence and its neighborly feel were a draw to us. After two years here, we know we made the right decision. We love our home and our neighborhood. Ours is a neighborhood of community Christmas parties, summer picnics, and front porch visiting. Like the venerable old houses in the neighborhood, the way of life is very much a relic of a bygone era.
We were aware that a WaWa was coming to the corner of Dover and Rt. 50. What we didnt know was the way that this would negatively impact our quiet neighborhood. The town of Easton, in an effort to manage traffic on Rt. 50, demanded that WaWa place an entrance and exit to their 24/7 establishment on Choptank Avenue, at the end of South Street, and thus to dump the traffic into our neighborhood. This is made possible after five affordable homes in the neighborhood are to be razed later this week. Our buffer to the Rt. 50 businesses will be demolished. We will be exposed, first-hand, to the light, noise, traffic and crime that comes along with a 24/7 convenience store. This was at the request of our town even though the Town of Easton website clearly states that a site plan will not be approved if it [adversely impacts] the health or safety of persons residing or working in the area surrounding the site or upon the character of the neighborhood surrounding the site.
Our town has chosen to do this to us. It was not at the request of WaWa, and was done clearly without a thought of our middle income neighborhood. Certainly, there is a market for what WaWa offers, but we are left with the overwhelming impression that the Town can't seem to do enough to facilitate this type of development-even at the expense of existing established neighborhoods. Although we are angry, we are more disappointed that our town failed us.
We plan to ask for a revision of this plan at the next Town
Council meeting on September 6. I hope that everyone will consider
attending. The town still has the opportunity to make it right
and to show their commitment to the character of our neighborhood
and our town. As our town continues to experience growth, we
will face many more issues such as this. As residents of Easton,
it is very important for us all to not trade the best of a small
town neighborhood for the worst of an interstate truck stop.
The below Editorial appeared in the Star Democrat on August 25, 2005:
To the Editor,
We moved to Easton in the Fall of 2000 after having searched the Eastern Shore for just the right community. We found a wonderful haven on South Street a couple of blocks away from St. Peters & Paul School. We have worked very hard making improvements over the years and have grown to love our home and life in this quiet neighborhood.
We had heard that a WaWa store was slated for the corner of Dover and Route 50, just two blocks away. We were worried about the impact it would have on us, but our little neighborhood felt insulated with a row of houses on Choptank across the end of South Street. I was shocked to learn recently that the town of Easton okayed WaWas main accesses to be on Choptank rather than Route 50, where we all assumed they would be.
Putting the accesses on Choptank will ruin our neighborhood by creating a raceway to WaWa down South Street and subsequently a quick exit onto 50 eastbound, thus avoiding the Dover traffic light. We wonder if an impact study was done to see how this traffic flow will affect the neighborhood? It seems evident that the decision was made hastily and our town planners didnt consider the impact this would have on the residents.
I think we need to take a hard look at our towns system of decision making and see if they are really working with the taxpayers best interests in mind.
Debra H., Easton
The below Editorial appeared in the Star Democrat on August 24, 2005:
Unfortunately not- Easton's elected officials have changed the zoning to route traffic for a large Route 50 business right through the neighborhood. When alerted to the potential problems, they told residents the time for appeal has passed. When asked to make changes in the plan to help maintain the quality of life in the neighborhood and secure property values they refused to consider alternatives. They continually insist their studies show there is no negative impact.
The town's codes and regulations as written clearly charge elected officials with protecting residents from this type of encroachment. Yet every time the pertinent issues were brought to Planning and Zoning we were shown the pretty design and told we're lucky to have it. We're told there's no other way because it would inconvenience others.
Obviously those others live somewhere besides this neighborhood.
Carroll's Addition residents are fighting to protect their homes
and quality of life but it doesn't look promising. It is a shame
a town that prides itself on being one of the "best small
towns in America" would sell out those who have spent their
working lives making the town what it is today.
To the Editor,
My family and I moved our home-based business to Easton about five years ago where we have been incredibly happy in the cozy little neighborhood of Carrolls Addition.
When we heard about plans to build a huge WaWa Store on corner of Dover and Route 50 we assumed that the entrances and exits for the 24 hour gas/convenience store would be onto those two busy roads. It has recently been brought to our attention that our towns team of experts came up with a site plan with only ONE entrance/exit on 50, NO entrances or exits on Dover, and TWO entrances/exits on Choptank Avenue, right into the heart of our neighborhood.
To make way for the project, the properties on which five small houses sit (which served as a buffer between our community and the madness of Route 50) have been rezoned to commercial are to be demolished soon.
The towns proposed traffic flow in and out of the new WaWa will have people dodging off Dover Street and speeding down South Street to zip through the WaWa parking lot to turn right onto Route 50. Traffic will also increase on Choptank Ave, which has no sidewalks and is a route that children use to walk to school.
How could officials of our town make the decision to funnel traffic into our neighborhood without consulting the residents? Come to the town meeting Sept 6th and help us to get some answers.
Eric H., Easton
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