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Old Charles Town buildings being torn down to make way for CVS

March 21, 2012|By RICHARD F. BELISLE | richardb@herald-mail.com
  • Equipment tears down old buildings in Charles Town, W.Va., to make room for a CVS pharmacy, which is expected to open by late summer.
Photo by Richard F. Belisle

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. — Heavy equipment is beginning to tear into some old downtown buildings to make room for a new CVS pharmacy following a recent judge’s decision to lift a temporary injunction that halted the work, Jefferson County court records said.

David H. Sanders, 23rd Circuit judge, reversed his March 2 ruling to issue a temporary restraining order against the CVS project. The motion seeking the injunction was filed by Attorney Christopher A. Bailey on behalf of plaintiffs Betsy Wells and Donald Rohel of Charles Town.

The judge, in his new order, ruled that the plaintiffs lacked standing and were “unable to demonstrate or allege, either in their pleadings or at the hearing on this matter, that they suffer any unique harm or injury beyond that of a general citizen. The defendants will likely suffer substantial harm if this project is further delayed as a result of a restraining order or injunction.”

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“This finishes it for us,” said Curt Mason, spokesman for Citizens for Downtown Charles Town, a local group formed to fight the project. “It’s a great disappointment. Emotions have been very high. I can’t drive by there. It’s too upsetting.”

The defendants were Charles Town Historic Landmarks Commission; Clarence Haymaker and Haymaker Enterprises LLC, owner or part owner of the properties to be razed at 322 and 324 W. Washington St., and 115, 117 and 119 West North St.; and The Rebkee Co. of Midlothian, Va., the contractor.

The affected buildings are in the city’s historic downtown overlay district.

The project won the blessings of the Charles Town Planning Commission, Historic Landmarks Commission and the city council.

One early sticking point was how traffic would enter and leave the pharmacy’s property. CVS hired a consultant to do a traffic study requested by the West Virginia Division of Highways, Charles Town City Manager Joe Cosentini said Tuesday.

The main entrances and exits will be over three lanes on Fritts Alley on the east side of the CVS property, in and out of Washington Street on the south side, and in and out of Liberty Street on the north side. 

The pharmacy is supposed open by late summer, Consentini said.

The project carries about a $5 million price tag, he said.

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