CARRBORO — More than 100 people who packed a Carrboro Town Hall boardroom Tuesday night to speak against a proposed new CVS downtown never got the chance.
Instead of seeking another delay, the drugstore representatives withdrew their rezoning application, and town leaders decided not to hold the scheduled public hearing on the project.
Developer Reddlands Inc.’s plans called for a 24,590-square-foot, two-story building with a 24-hour CVS on the first floor and office space on the second. The store would replace a CVS in the Carr Mill shopping center across the street that the company says it has outgrown.
Neighbors say the project would harm their quality of life and doesn’t fit the largely residential neighborhood of old mill-style houses.
Activists, some of them local anarchists, briefly occupied a vacant building at the site last year until police told them they would be arrested if they did not leave.
The developer will now work under the existing zoning to try to fit a smaller store at Weaver and North Greensboro streets than the rezoning would have allowed.
After the Planning Board recommended denying the rezoning Feb. 21, the developers initially asked to delay the public hearing until April. With the rezoning request withdrawn, Mayor Mark Chilton said he saw no need to hear public input Tuesday night.
“I don’t think it’s in the best interests of our community to change the zoning on this block,” he said.
After the meeting, Carrboro resident and former mayoral candidate Amanda Ashley said it was a letdown that opponents could not speak.
“I wish they had allowed people to talk as a means of catharsis, of speaking their minds,” she said. “Communities are like people, and it’s important for (a community) to voice its feelings.”