On July 18th, the City gave final approval to a proposal to build a Starbucks Cafe adjacent to the CVS on Bay Ridge Road.
Regardless of whether you support or oppose the Starbucks, you deserve to have your voice heard. I am quite concerned about the failure of both the applicant and the City to adequately notify or engage the public about this proposal. Yes, they posted their 15 day notice on the property, but that is an entirely insufficient attempt at public transparency and engagement, and represents the bare minimum required under our code. Even those of us who pay very close attention to development issues did not notice the sign nor realize a public comment period had opened and closed. The code allows for the Planning & Zoning director to call for a public hearing, at his discretion. That should have been done and the public should have been engaged with so that we can have development that fits into our community, addresses all of our concerns, and builds a stronger community for all of us.
If I am elected, I will strengthen the notification requirements for new development projects and ensure you have a voice when it comes to your community and your neighborhood.
I want to hear from you. What do you think about the Starbucks? Do you support or oppose them coming to Ward 7? At this point the project is already approved (though it can be appealed up until August 16th), but I feel the City still needs to hear our thoughts and our frustration with them as to leaving us out of the loop.
Personally I am not in favor of more chain stores. I want locally owned businesses that build character and uniqueness, and that keeps our money in our community instead of going to an international corporation. I am worried about how this will impact our locally-owned Zu Coffee. I will advocate that the next time our Comprehensive Plan is updated, that it include an emphasis on favoring and protecting locally owned and minority owned businesses.