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Car Dealership Expansion Clashes With Neighborhood

There will be more than enough time for the public to sound off on a proposal to de-dedicate Lafayette Street to facilitate an expanded Dave Warren Autogroup on Washington Street.

The issue came to a head during a recent City Council meeting when more than 40 people attended to express their displeasure with the plan. Those upset with the plan say not having the one-block section of Lafayette Street will make it more difficult to hold parties, picnics and the annual Juneteenth celebration in the park and could make public safety access to the park more difficult. Chadakoin Park users also asked the city to spend more money on the park to alleviate swamp-like conditions.

All are valid concerns that must be balanced with the needs of Dave Warren, a businessman who has already spent much of his hard-earned money to purchase a car dealership on Washington Street and now wants to spend more of his money to expand the dealership’s vehicle lot and build new maintenance buildings- a decision that will benefit the city through increased tax base and make Warren’s business more competitive in the local marketplace.

Naturally, the Dave Warren Autogroup project is sparking avid interest among neighbors, and it was important that Chadakoin Park users spoke up early with their concerns.

Knowing there are neighborhood concerns should spark a new review of the project by the city Planning Commission that includes finding alternatives to get traffic into and out of Chadakoin Park.

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