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I previously lived within 3 blocks of *3* corner stores (plus Schneider's). I miss them so much. They were the best thing ever when I tried my hand (and failed) at making gravy and didn't want to leave my guests without (being someone who does not like gravy, I contend that my turkey is so good it's unnecessary, but people really love their gravy), or blanked on some necessary ingredient, or, like Alan mentioned, for just picking up something quick on my way home. There was rarely more than a half-dozen people in the store at any time I stopped in, and they were almost exclusively my neighbors (occasionally their guests as well). While there was a very small amount of foot traffic generated, it was mostly neighborhood folks and people otherwise passing by just quietly walking to the store. Every once in a while I'd see someone park and run in for a minute, but almost all of their patrons arrived by foot, so car traffic/parking was never much of an issue.

In the sense that people could be bothered by late-night foot traffic, I don't mind the hours restrictions too much. Even with less restrictive rules, the ones on the Hill closed by 10 anyway (while that was because it was the end of alcohol sales for non-grocers, the one closest to my house actually closed at 9:30, so the hours decision was mostly demand/convenience for the family - they were almost exclusively family-run). 9 is a little early, but I think it's late enough that most people can get their "last run" in before they have to decide if what they need/want is worth the trip to a real grocery store. I always saw these as a huge asset to a neighborhood when done well, and, I guess, I'd be very happy to have one and think others should have the chance to have a more convenient shopping opportunity nearby.

Limiting alcohol to beer & wine and prohibiting single sales for these stores in neighborhoods where problems may arise (or not allowing a liquor license at all, though that often sinks a business such as this) seems, to me, the route to limit problems while providing a convenient service for the neighborhood. The beauty of rules and decisions like that is that they are handled OUTSIDE of the zoning code, so they are easier to change and can be tailored to a neighborhood's needs. Some neighborhoods will attract and be very happy with stores that would want to sell singles of high-quality beers, while others would want to prevent a sea of 40's from becoming strewn all over the lawns. Over time, the neighborhoods in those categories are likely to change, and, by not baking a behavior-regulating rule into a long-term building and use code, everyone can be best served while still being protected.

by Ms. D on Jan 15, 2013 5:17 pm • linkreport

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