Small Town Residents Uneasy About New Development

Residents in small-town, suburban Boston are on edge about the impending demolition of historic housing to make room for what they fear will be a national chain retailer -- a first for the town.

"In Mendon, a quiet, rural town about 50 miles southwest of Boston, residents are struggling to blend the town's historic past with the economic realities of its future."

"Although town officials say nothing is set in stone, many residents are convinced that the houses, located at a gateway to town, will both be razed to make way for a CVS store. The store would become one of the few national chains to open in Mendon, where a post office, realty business, coffee shop, and wine store line the main street."

"'Those houses were the first thing you'd see when you came up the hill,' said Carl Checkoway, who owns the wine store on Maple Street. 'I think it's going to change the character of the town. We're used to not having a grocery store, not having a pharmacy, and we don't mind going to other towns to go to the store. A lot of people aren't going to be happy, but what can you do? It's his private property.'"

Full Story: Small town struggles as history falls



"A lot of people aren't

"A lot of people aren't going to be happy, but what can you do? It's his private property"

Of course "you," the people of Mendon, could enact a historic preservation ordinance that protects the houses. Private property rights are never absolute. Maybe the chairman of the Board of Selectmen doesn't know that this is an option.

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