Letter: Chain store a bad fit for former Ranger School site
To the editor:
(A version of this letter was sent to John Pagliarini Jr., owner of the former Ranger School property in Tiverton.)
I am writing to you as a concerned 20-plus year tax-paying resident of Tiverton and advocate in preserving its history.
It took over three years for Tiverton to officially become a Preserve America Community - a national initiative, and chain stores just don't fit in being a PAC. As a PAC, Tiverton must “protect and celebrate its heritage, use its historic assets for economic development and community revitalization, and encourage people to experience and appreciate local historic resources through education and heritage tourism programs.”
Nor does a chain meet the Comprehensive Community Plan. The more stores we add to Tiverton, the more we'll become just a suburb of Fall River and lose our historic small-town character — the main reason why people choose to live in or visit Tiverton.
The former Ranger School area is a Pedestrian-Friendly Business Zone. I think the best type of architecture and business that could go in that lot would be similar to Old Cory Place at Tiverton Four Corners, where you used to have your law office. Multiple small offices, studios, and non-chain shops could be in it under the same roof, and it would fit in better architecturally and functionally to the neighborhood.
I recently read about a couple of family-oriented businesses that were quite successful and could also be successful in Tiverton because there is nothing like them in the area. One is a place where kids can go and bounce around. The other is a place where people can play board games. A new and used bookstore with a space where local writers could meet and work would also be a good fit in this area, as would a small arts and crafts store where crafters could meet, train, and work.
With Sandywoods, Bulgarmarsh Recreation Area, and the library around the corner, and the senior housing up the street, I think these kind of businesses would generate a lot of pedestrian-friendly foot traffic and would draw more people to these various types of unique shops than any single chain store would.
I have talked with a lot of people in Town — some of whom live on Stafford Road and some who voted for the casino, but none want a chain store in this location.
Think about the town and businesses as if you were visiting Tiverton for the first time. If you saw a Dollar General or other chain store on its main roads, what would you think? This town's just like any other suburb. Not unique. And certainly just the opposite of what the sign on Route 24 states: Welcome to Tiverton, a Preserve America Community.
Please reconsider your type of business selection for this pedestrian-friendly neighborhood.
Susan E. Anderson