Four years after the community spoke loudly in opposition to Walgreens constructing a new store where an empty La Grange still sits, a new proposal involving CVS building a new store at the same location will go before the Islip Town Planning Board later this month.
While it’s déjà vu all over again, as Yankees great Yogi Berra once said, early returns here on West Islip Patch and elsewhere in the community indicate opposition to the plan that would place a national drug store where La Grange has sat for more than 200 years.
Presumably CVS would construct the new store at the corner of Higbie Lane and Montauk Highway and close its longtime West Islip store just to the west.
For more than four years, save a few months, La Grange has sat empty and its condition has deteriorated to the level of eyesore. While the Walgreens idea in 2008 was unpopular, the current state of La Grange may be less popular.
Although specifics of the CVS proposal will be officially unveiled at the Oct. 25 meeting of the Islip Town Planning Board, residents that may now be against this idea need to at least give it its day in court. We’re not advocating for the proposal, but at least the community needs to hear the idea and ask if not this, then what?
Four years ago at a community meeting at La Grange about the Walgreens idea, several hundred residents showed up to voice their opposition to the proposal. But what we didn’t hear from most of those residents was a solution to the situation. In fact, with the exception of the few who stepped up to join the then-La Grange Task Force, most who loudly said no to Walgreens disappeared without a trace.
What the community needs now is to listen sensibly to an idea. There may be parts that are good, and others that don’t work as it relates to the quality of life of residents in the area and traffic patterns.
But this idea needs to be heard and if it doesn’t work, then the owner of La Grange and the community should present alternative ideas. Otherwise the déjà vu of a vacant, dilapidated La Grange is something few will want to see over and over again.
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