I think the Carbondale City Council is facing a couple of really tough issues in the vote to ban smoking and rezone the corner of Oakland and Walnut for CVS this meeting and next.
We saw the first vote last night on banning smoking, it was a tie 3-3. Personally, I'm for banning all smoking in all public buildings. But, the anti-ban group did a really poor job selling this ban. They should go back and find the economic impact of a one city ban, like the one they want, on the businesses in town. For example, find a Midwestern city that passed the ban a year or two ago and see what the effect was on restaurant and bar revenue. If the economic effect was positive or neutral, I bet they could get the ban though.
Personally, I think the right place to get this passed is at the state level. That is where the health costs really rest and where the most level playing field can be established. Yes, I know that would be harder to do.
Clearly this is all about money for the local business people. The argument that their employees smoke and it is their right to cause cancer in others is really stupid. Because the pro-ban people didn't do their homework on the money, they let the businesses off the hook.
CVS going in on the corner of Oakland is really interesting. I have written that I'm against it, but I'm now really on the fence. You are talking about a bunch of really crappy homes. I have seen the map of where they would like to build now and CVS has offered as part of the deal to keep the traffic and noise on the Oakland side and have a blank wall facing East and a green belt too. The homes that will be effected are already really the homes on the South side of Walnut at the Oakland corner. Those homes already are on the busiest street in Carbondale and next to a fire station. There is noise and light there 24/7 now, I'm not sure I'm buying that CVS is really a great burden on the local houses. I'm certainly not buying the selling booze BS being thrown around.
Carbondale is completly dependent on our sales tax revenue to fund our local services. You are talking about a length of street that has a fire station, 24 hour grocery store and strip mall and a video store and pizza takeout already. It is the busiest street in Carbondale. I'm pretty sure that everyone within a reasonable distance from the proposed CVS site has purchased their house since 13 went one way.
I don't expect that you will see the kinds of people who hangout at Walgreen's late at night, because they aren't near the Northeast.
As I wrote before, I feel that it is going to be very difficult for the "Arbor District" (which is shaped like a snake) to fight off the economic reality that the property around them is worth more as retail and rental then residential. The traffic noise and speed on 13 and the state of School District 95 make it unlikely that families will move in to the area. They are already surrounded by rooming houses, frat houses and flop houses. If something like CVS doesn't happen now, it is very likely to happen in the future.
CVS is a very tough call. I'm pretty sure I would vote against it, if I was voting. But, I'm not sure.