September 21, 2014

CVS, town see glaring differences over lighting

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CVS Pharmacy and the town are at odds over the lighting along the building’s eaves. (Observer courtesy photo by Charis Gade)

CVS Pharmacy and the town are at odds over the lighting along the building’s eaves. (Observer courtesy photo by Chris Gade)

By Stephanie Choate

Observer staff

September 19th, 2013

After a back-and-forth with the town regarding lighting around the perimeter of its building, CVS Pharmacy is heading to the Development Review Board to appeal a zoning violation filed against it.

Planning and Zoning Director Ken Belliveau issued a notice of violation to the pharmacy regarding Chapter 24 of the town’s bylaws.

“It involves what we call light trespass, or light trespassing from their property onto neighboring properties,” Belliveau said. “It’s not just that you can see light in a secondary way. You can see the light source. You can see the bulbs, and they’re supposed to be fully shielded.”

Belliveau said he had been in contact with CVS in the winter, working on changes to the perimeter lighting to address the town’s and residents’ concerns. The changes discussed included reducing the number of double row of fluorescent bulbs to a single row and installing a shield to the reduce the visibility of the bulbs. However, Belliveau said the company opted against installing shielding to contain the light. After considering the town’s zoning bylaws, Belliveau issued a zoning violation.

CVS appealed the notice, and is set to go before the DRB on Sept. 24.

Michael DeAngelis, director of public relations for CVS, wrote in an email to the Observer that the store voluntarily reduced the lighting by 50 percent, “even though the site, including lighting levels, was designed to the town’s specifications.”

DeAngelis declined to comment further, citing the pending hearing.

“It’s kind of disappointing because it’s a nice looking building…some things that they did are really very exemplary,” Belliveau said. “There’s a lot for people to be pleased with, but I think this is a real negative, unfortunately.”

Resident Chris Gade said he has been in contact with CVS “quite extensively” regarding the lights.

Gade said CVS’s lights far outshine other lights in the Taft Corners area, and are clearly visible from his home on Ledgewood Drive.

“It’s a tremendous amount of light pollution emitting from the perimeter lighting on the roof,” Gade said. “It is far and away the brightest thing on the horizon.”

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