Doesn't the community have rights as well?
Example: you live on a street full of beautiful 1920s Craftsman style homes. You bought the house because it was obvious that everyone takes great pride in their homes, and you wanted to live on a street like that. One day, one of the owners announces that he's tearing his house down and replacing it with an ultra-modern concrete structure to the horizontal and vertical limits of the zoning. Wouldn't that destroy the whole character of the street, and impact the neighbors property values?
It's perfectly legal and the owner has the right to do it, but does that mean it's the right thing to do? I think that the neighbors would argue that it's not. Would you argue, Mr. Budden (LETTERS 4/14), that this owner should be allowed to pursue his American Dream if he was next door to you?
Of course Mr. Park has rights, but his neighbors have rights as well. With his rights come certain responsibilities - whether or not they are codified by law - to the community he lives or works in. But not everyone lives by those unwritten rules, and neighborhoods suffer for it.
The fact is, if Mr. Park had proposed almost any other kind of store, the neighborhood would have embraced him. Instead, he proposed what appeared to be a format that has become a serious problem in many neighborhoods. These aren't the "mom & pop" stores from your childhood. These stores focus on malt liquor, fortified wine and cigarettes; and attract all sort of problems. Any cop can point them out to you
I hope Mr. Park's store becomes a valued part of the community, but only he knows what his intentions are. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and I think that the neighbors are justifiably concerned based on what they've seen of similar situations. Dr. Tasch and the neighbors have every right - in fact they have a responsibility - to voice their concerns over what they see as having a potential negative impact on their community.
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