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PLANNER OUTLINES CONCERNS ABOUT RITE-AID PROPOSAL

At least one member of the Jamestown Planning Commission has some concerns about Rite Aid's plans to build a new drugstore in Brooklyn Square.

Jeffrey Nelson Wednesday said he outlined his concerns in a report to the City Council, based on a telephone survey of commission members.

Rite Aid wants to buy a small piece of city-owned property, to expand the Brookwood Restaurant site where it plans to build a new store featuring a drive-through pharmacy. With that store open, the company plans to close an existing Rite Aid store in Brooklyn Square and its downtown store at Third and Main streets.

Nelson said access to service for elderly residents of the Hotel Jamestown apartments and Covenant Manor downtown is a key issue for him.

"I really believe we should try to keep that downtown store space available for any type of legal usage that fits in the zoning there, and that would mean not restricting the ability for another drugstore if one should choose to operate there," Nelson said.

Planning Commission Chairman Robert Barber acknowledged the group never discussed the issue during a public meeting.

"We were told by the city corporation counsel that they wanted to move this project along.

"All we are doing is approving the price for the sale," Barber added. "We are not approving the development or suggesting that it be sold. The only legal responsibility of the Planning Commission was to approve the price."

The price established for the small parcel is $42,000.

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