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Letters to the Editor

Dillons issue

April 26, 2011

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To the editor:

A Dillons drive-through pharmacy in the right-of-way of New Hampshire Street is 100 percent wrong for Barker Neighborhood. Commercial activity fewer than 50 feet from residential property and facing single-family homes is wrong. That’s why no other drive-through in Lawrence encroaches into a neighborhood like the proposed Dillons drive-through would. No other business conducts business on the New Hampshire side of the street. A drive-through would dramatically alter Barker’s environment. New traffic, new congestion, much more noise, worse air quality — and all throughout day and evening hours, seven days a week, hours that are now quiet the vast majority of the time.

We want the new Dillons store, but the concessions neighbors have already made are enough. These include zero setbacks bringing the store 25 feet closer to homes even without a drive-through, increased traffic, an ingress from New Hampshire to the main store, an emergency exit on New Hampshire, more traffic congestion during peak hours, a north-facing store, and a loading dock on our historic Massachusetts Street.

Preserving neighborhood integrity is a City Commission goal. We ask the City Commission to insist that the drive-through be located elsewhere or not at all. Dillons may suggest it is critical to their success, however there are many instances when CVS and Walgreen’s stores have gone into residential areas without drive-throughs. If pharmacies can do it, surely grocery stores can too.

Comments

pea 2 years, 11 months ago

RE: Connection between customer and the help: The older guy at customer service needs to find a new line of work. What an unpleasant man. Also, the service at the deli is usually poor at best.

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Darin Wade 2 years, 11 months ago

The inner core of the issue of expansion is "customer demands change and we still want to hold on to that ghetto 70's effect of Dillions with the paper food stamps edition and the stainless steel shopping carts.

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oneeye_wilbur 2 years, 11 months ago

Cromwell voted against just to save face with the "neighborhood" .

Again, if the current store has been allowed to get shoddier and shoddier and the deli area likewise and other shopping choices, to have a new building won't really make any difference. Keep track of how long it takes after it opens that checkout lanes will not be open, how long it will be before this store on Mass is closed at night also. When the shoplifiters and vagrants start showing up after midnight it won't be long.

What is really going to surprise many at Dillons is that the customer base isn't gong to change. For the initial "new" to wear off, the "old" will be back very soon.

I would be more concerned about how many of the current employees actually get to stay. what makes a business desirable to shop at is the connection between the customer and the help.

Customer service is going to need to be upgraded 100 percent. There are some good employees at that counter but many times one person is expected to wait on too many people. If it cannot be corrected now, it won'[t be later. Again, only in the beginning. AFter that it is Dirty Dillons Redoux.

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jafs 2 years, 11 months ago

Well, this issue has been resolved - the city commission voted to allow the project with the drive-thru pharmacy.

The only dissenting vote was Cromwell's, who happens to live a block from Dillon's.

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pace 2 years, 11 months ago

I was just thinking how I would miss exiting on New Hampshire when I go to Dillons. I think the design bends over back wards to accommodate the neighborhood. My husband walks to Dillons. We appreciate it being close. The pharmacy exit seems quite reasonable. Good luck to Dillons and to the neighbors.

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Kujay1966 2 years, 11 months ago

Mary, Maybe the solution is for Dillons to close their store on Mass, and you guys can have to drive and shop else where. Once they close it they can sell the land to McDonalds, Taco Bell, and than you can see traffic,

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gccs14r 2 years, 11 months ago

Maybe the real solution is to buy all the houses on the east side of New Hampshire between 17th and 19th, cul-de-sac 18th, then build a sound wall/fence along the west edge of the remaining residential properties. Then Dillons can widen and use New Hampshire as a regular ingress/egress road without disturbing the neighborhood.

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oletimer 2 years, 11 months ago

Liar, Lair. Your neighborhood association does not want the new Dillons. You have been crying ever since they came out with the first store replacement plans. Or is it just you? They are trying to work with you, but nooooo, you just will not cooperate. I say just let them close it completely and you can shop in another neighborhood.

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ferrislives 2 years, 11 months ago

This is only directed to the "Dillons blowhards" as I like to refer to them.

Before this proposal, all I heard from people like you is complaining about the "ghetto Dillons", and wanting a new store. Now that they're building one, and they're truly taking neighborhood input on the design, people like you b*tch about every little thing. I think there are plenty of people in North Lawrence that wish they had your "problem".

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Richard Heckler 2 years, 11 months ago

The ghetto Dillons is one of the most profitable Dillons stores so we hear.....perhaps listening to the customers is not a bad idea.

I've not heard anyone say they don't want the Dillons store at that location.

What would be a plus is this store developing a cool household/kitchen goods section. Could be real handy. The neighborhood then would two choices..... Dillions and Weavers.

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Richard Heckler 2 years, 11 months ago

"At least everyone knows when elections are. The neighborhood association meeting times are well-kept secrets." How so?

"And, keep in mind that the Dillons serves much of East Lawrence, including areas immediately west of Mass...yet those neighborhoods are not considered part of Barker for the purposes of the neighborhood association." So?

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Adrienne Sanders 2 years, 11 months ago

Doesn't the Walgreens at 23rd & Louisiana have a drive through that's practically in people's backyards? Not that that makes it okay... I agree that having a drive thru at the proposed new Dillions is a bit ridiculous in the space available.

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panzermike007 2 years, 11 months ago

Once again Lawrence shoots itself in the foot!

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sallyone 2 years, 11 months ago

Let those cry babies keep their ghetto dillions if they want it. They would just trash a new one anyways!

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cheeseburger 2 years, 11 months ago

'New traffic, new congestion, much more noise, worse air quality — and all throughout day and evening hours, seven days a week, hours that are now quiet the vast majority of the time.'

Well, now, which is it? Previously, we were told that semi trucks unload at all hours of the day and night, causing excessive noise and pollution. Now you're telling us a noise and pollution problem will only exist if the drive-thru pharmacy is allowed.

Which is it? Or do you just change your argument to suit your need on a particular day? I have no respect for people who can't look at the big picture. You're getting a nice new store in a neighborhood that needs it - quit your complaining!

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jhawkinsf 2 years, 11 months ago

A vacant store like that would really be an eyesore right on Mass. St. But if it does happen, perhaps a new homeless shelter could be put there. Oh, wait, they would also have a drive thru "pharmacy".
Better a Dillons with a drive thru than the alternative.

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oneeye_wilbur 2 years, 11 months ago

It will make little difference. After the store is open, with the grand opening and every checkout lane open, it will be no less than 6 months later that changes will occur. A few lanes not open, a few items not carried anymore. The Deli area will become less desirable as it already has, and why? If the current store cannot be operated in a first class manner what makes one think that the new one will. It will not have a big influx of new customers over the long range.

And the exterior will soon become dirty as it is now and finallly, The NEW Dirty Dillons has been reborn.

The Journal World supports this because they get advertising.

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oneeye_wilbur 2 years, 11 months ago

It will make little difference. After the store is open, with the grand opening and every checkout lane open, it will be no less than 6 months later that changes will occur. A few lanes not open, a few items not carried anymore. The Deli area will become less desirable as it already has, and why? If the current store cannot be operated in a first class manner what makes one think that the new one will. It will not have a big influx of new customers over the long range.

And the exterior will soon become dirty as it is now and finallly, The NEW Dirty Dillons has been reborn.

The Journal World supports this because they get advertising.

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nativeson 2 years, 11 months ago

It is unfortunate that the neighborhood association is opposing this development plan. Preserving neighborhood integrity continues to be a goal of the City Commission. However, so is promoting economic development and improvement in private services within the core of Lawrence. They actually go hand-in-hand. Without improving services in neighborhoods, they will deteriorate. There has been a lot of dialog about the impact of closing neighborhood schools on home valuation. How about a huge vacant retail space in the neighborhood that once provided an important service to the area.

Every new pharmacy built will want to have a drive-through. This is the pattern of behavior for the consumer, and I think the project does not happen without it. These are the tradeoffs required in any type of development, and it seems reasonable to want what other modern stores are providing to their customers. The benefits far outweigh the detriments in this instance. This full service store will serve not only East Lawrence, but it is the nearest store to North Lawrence residents as well.

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kuhusker 2 years, 11 months ago

I think a lot of these neighborhood associations are tiny cliques of just a few people, who hardly represent the views of all the people in their neighborhoods, and usually they are very parochial, "NIMBY" (Not In My BackYard) folks.

So something like the Dillons plan comes along, which would benefit 90% of the people in the area but upsets one or two people, well, it has to be stopped!

I don't think there's anything unusual about this, it is human nature, and how politics often works, but still it is sad to see something that would obviously benefits thousands of people get potentially shot down because a couple folks get the willies when they imagine a drive through pharmacy on the next block.

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ashamedofyou 2 years, 11 months ago

excuse me, but as I recall, when I was a kid, they knocked down houses at 23rd and Ohio/Louisiana to put a Walgreen's WITH a drive thru. Just sayin....

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pizzapete 2 years, 11 months ago

I want the new Dillions and live in the neighborhood, too. I think the letter writer has a valid point. Why not put the drive up pharmacy on the Mass st. side or keep it as is, ie, get off your fat bottom and walk in.

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kuhusker 2 years, 11 months ago

Ms. Wharff is the minority among the citizens of that neighborhood. Most of us want the new Dillons. If Ms. Wharff gets her way, the store will close, and instead of a new Dillons, there will be a big, empty, ugly building there, and neighbors who now can walk or drive to their neighborhood store will now be forced to commute across town for their groceries

But at least it will be quiet.

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irvan moore 2 years, 11 months ago

Dillons is wanting to make a large investment in our neighborhood, it will help anchor the neighborhood and keep property values steady. it appears Dillons is working very hard to be neighborhood friendly and take concerns into consideration. we need to appreciate that fact and understand there are going to be some things everyone might not like but that are necessary in order to buold the store in a cost effective manner.

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sowhatnow 2 years, 11 months ago

Thanks Mary. Your point is a good one. I've watched you and the Barker Neighborhood Association tackle this issue with reason, clarity and understanding. I applaud you drawing this line in the sand. It is a grocery store after all.

And thanks for all you've done!

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75x55 2 years, 11 months ago

"Cry- babies like this impede progress."

This is the heart of leftist Lawrence - just look at the voting maps. They never had a hope of getting this store modernized without major hassles from the local apparatchik.

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grammaddy 2 years, 11 months ago

Quityerbellyakin", if you don't lke the idea of a drive-thru pharmacy then don't use it. Park and walk in. Unless you own one of the 2 or 3 houses that sit directly behind Dillon's, you don't get to complain.Seems to me that those people are really the only ones effected by this. Cry- babies like this impede progress.

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