Letter: O’Reilly Auto Parts store doesn’t belong in Portsmouth


To the editor:

(On April 12), the Planning Board (with the exception of one) approved a request to grant a variance to the developer of the Dollar General. He wants to put in an O'Reilly Auto Parts store and needs 7,000 square feet, not the 6,200 originally approved. This will be on the small lot adjacent to Dollar General. He already had a special-use permit approved for the original project because it exceeded 15,000 square feet.

My question is, why do we have to approve special-use permits and variances for these types of developments? I keep hearing, “We will get sued.” Really? I don't understand that. I believe you can say no and hold developers to restrictions that are already in place. The restrictions are there for a reason, right? Bingo, there would have been no Dollar General and there would be no O'Reillly’s. And if we truly cannot say no, I guess there is no planning going on or possible way to preserve and protect what is left of our town.

From what I understand, these new businesses pay no taxes for five years, a little cookie we toss out to attract new economic development. Keep tossing out cookies and granting special-use permits and variances and we'll look like Fall River in no time. Who really benefits from these ugly chain stores?  1) The developer from East Cupcake who swoops into our towns, develops, makes a buck and leaves. 

2) The chain stores, wow! No taxes for five years. And when a store does not do well, they pack up and leave. See ya, Portsmouth. (Dollar General rep told me that. He said they don't care if a particular branch makes it or not. They just move on.)

It's certainly not the town or its residents who reap any benefits. And we are left with another ugly blight in our small town.

If anyone else is angry about these things, if you care about the future of this town, show up at the Town Hall on Thursday night for the zoning board meeting. Let's get a crowd together to oppose O’Reilly’s and other potential big-box chain stores. Tell your friends and neighbors! We can make a difference! Our town officials are supposed to represent its residents, not developers. Preserve Portsmouth!

Denise Caron Wilkey

3140 East Main Road


letters, opinion


9 comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here
Please log in or register to add your comment
joe sousa

Good to see some development in town

Tuesday, April 18 | Report this

Wait--let me get this straight. You're complaining because you have too many new businesses wanting to come to Portsmouth? So, you'd like your taxes to go up? Most cities and towns give new businesses TEN tax-free years. Be happy with your five.

Wednesday, April 19 | Report this
Honoré de Balzac

aglag -

as usual you missed it

it's about quality of life

Wednesday, April 19 | Report this
joe sousa

Comédie humaine

Wednesday, April 19 | Report this
Honoré de Balzac


I guess you found me out

the human comedy - exactly!

Thursday, April 20 | Report this

Oh, Mr. Ballsack, I have missed nothing. I seem to remember you saying something awhile back about empty storefronts? Why will an extremely successful auto parts store ruin this woman's quality of life? Enlighten me.

Thursday, April 20 | Report this
Honoré de Balzac


it's not for me to say, I don't live in Portsmouth

if the area residents don't want it, then it's their decision

resident's quality of life must be considered

and by the way...it's Balzac

Thursday, April 20 | Report this

Honoré de Balzac

It's not the area residents that don't want this. It is just a couple of loud mouths that speak out about any development in town. Portsmouth needs all the commercial development it can get. Raytheon in town will be closing soon and property taxes will go through the roof. A bunch of pottery shops are not going to cut it in reducing taxes.

Thursday, April 20 | Report this

Bob--that's exactly what I thought. Most towns would love new businesses, as higher taxes will definitely reduce their quality of life.

Thursday, April 20 | Report this

2016 by East Bay Newspapers

Barrington · Bristol · East Providence · Little Compton · Portsmouth · Prudence Island · Riverside · Rumford · Seekonk · Tiverton · Warren · Westport
Meet our staff
Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.