The closure of the IGA left the village of Red Hook without a grocery store, a very important component of a live-able, walk-able community. The proposal to relocate and enlarge CVS at that site could meet the needs of many residents and help to fill that hole, because the newest versions of CVS stores carry many grocery and household items, as evidenced by their stores in Kingston and Rhinebeck.
Making an issue of the drive-thru not conforming to village zoning has resulted in a stalemate that leaves residents with nothing. We have a large empty building, an unusable parking lot, and a store whose weekly flyer routinely advertises items that cannot be found in the current pharmacy.
In my opinion, a drive-thru at the largest drugstore in town would be an asset to the community and helpful to many residents. When I was a mom with small children in tow, each errand was cumbersome and an exercise in safety and logistics. The worst was when I had been up at night with a sick child, visited the pediatrician the next day, and then had to make ANOTHER trip to the pharmacy, with the ailing, tired child (and sibling) in tow, to get the prescription filled. A drive-thru then would have been a lifesaver.
These days, I think of residents who are elderly and those who are disabled or otherwise have compromised mobility. And let’s face it, this is the population whose care involves many prescription medications. They would be greatly assisted by having a drive-thru.
I applaud the Zoning Review Committee for working to develop guidelines and regulations that will help to maintain the character of a special part of town. However, it is very important to allow for sensitive designs that address the current needs of citizens, and not simply those that look charming.
For businesses to thrive in the village of Red Hook, parking and access to necessary goods and services must be convenient. Otherwise, residents will simply drive on through and spend their money someplace else. If the stores carrying items of necessity are overly limited in their growth and development, the village of Red Hook will simply become a place for quaint antique and boutique shops – enjoyable outing for an out-of-towner, but mostly useless to residents.
Carol S. Guidi