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updated: 9/18/2013 7:03 PM

Bartlett residents oppose Walgreens relocation

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A group of residents from the Braintree Lane area in Bartlett voiced their opposition at Tuesday's village board meeting to a Walgreens moving out of the Brewster Creek Shopping Centre at Route 59 and Stearns Road.

There is a proposal for the store to relocate a few hundred feet away on a vacant lot in the southwest corner of the center where a gas station once stood.

While the board met as a committee of the whole, residents expressed concerns about what type of business might move into the vacant space Walgreens will create in the strip mall.

"We haven't had a particularly good relationship and history with the current strip mall," said Braintree Lane resident Richard Lewis. "I think the residents feel that area isn't very well maintained."

Other neighbors mentioned they've seen an increasing number of cars going at dangerous speeds down Norwood and Braintree lanes. They asked the board to consider the possible traffic increase in the already busy area.

There were suggestions that the Walgreens would be better off relocating to the strip mall across the street or on the corner of Route 59 and West Bartlett Road, near two retirement villages.

But Tom Rymarz, who lives about two miles south of the site for the proposed Walgreens, said he supports the store's move, especially because it will have a drive-through pharmacy.

"It will improve the site," he said, adding that the vacant gas station is an eyesore. "I'm for the additional tax revenue that will come to Bartlett rather than what's going to Walgreens that have drive-ups."

Some solutions that were suggested to address the traffic problem in residential areas near the Walgreens included additional street signage, such as local traffic only, or speed bumps along Norwood and Braintree.

Trustee Eric Shipman said he recognizes the traffic at Route 59 and Stearns Road is a major concern for many Bartlett residents. He said he would like to see traffic counts for the streets motorists are cutting through on before putting up new signage.

The board is scheduled to vote on the proposal at a village board meeting next month.

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