Stop & Shop expansion gets green light

Abutter concerns deemed “vague” and “generalized” by Land Court

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A rendering of Stop & Shop's proposed expansion. A state land court judge denied complaints from Benjamin Hall Jr. that Stop & Shop's expansion would negatively affect his property. — Courtesy MVC

The Edgartown Stop & Shop expansion project got a major win Friday after a state Land Court judge denied multiple claims from abutter and trustee of Courtway Trust Benjamin Hall that the expansion would decrease his property value, clearing the way for the project to proceed.

Judge Diane Rubin issued the 21-page decision granting summary judgment to Stop & Shop last week. The decision affirms the Edgartown planning board’s 2018 approval of the project.

Stop & Shop also got approval from the Martha’s Vineyard Commission in December 2017 to add 17,400 square feet of additions to its existing building and redesign the parking lot, among other renovations. The planning board approved the project last summer, and construction was set to begin last fall. 

But in July of last year, Hall filed a complaint, dragging the project through court all winter. In February, Stop & Shop filed a motion for summary judgment. Hall then filed several extension requests that would have delayed the project for another year.

A summary judgment hearing was held on May 30, where Rubin denied Hall’s extension requests. 

“In light of [Hall’s] persistent disregard of court orders and repeated failures to meet agreed-upon deadlines, I exercise my discretion … to disregard the May 30 filings,” Rubin wrote in her decision.

The crux of Hall’s argument said shadows and noise would contribute to a loss of property value on his home, which he owns and resides in, at 14 Cyprien Way, which abuts the north section of Stop & Shop. When asked why Stop & Shop’s project would create more than a trivial shadow impact, Hall said, “Because the sun comes up every day and goes down every day.”

Rubin described Hall’s property value loss concerns as “vague” and “generalized.” She dismissed all of Hall’s claims, and said no financial damages would be awarded.

In the court documents, Stop & Shop says it plans to begin construction this fall after the busy summer season.

 

Updated to correct the owner of the property. — Ed.

5 COMMENTS

  1. Welcome to real life , Mr. Hall. yes, the sun rises, and the sun sets–and people with too much money file frivolous lawsuits to delay projects and inconvenience inconvenience thousands of people.
    We ” little people” have been waiting for this for years. We got over it– I am sure you will also.

  2. I was with the Halls on this one. Moving the pharmacy with all its sick people picking up prescriptions at the main store isn’t my idea of progress.

    • What do you do when you have to go to the doctor and the waiting room is filled with sick people waiting for their appointment? If you have compromised immunity, wear a mask over your mouth and nose to protect yourself, particularly from every kid on the island who is a contageous, walking virus. People who need to eat food and don’t like being ripped off deserve an upgraded Stop and Shop. Hopefully we will get one in VH, too.

    • Fan, the same sick people are in the supermarket already – now., today. They have been there, and in every supermarket, every day the market is open, handling food items and shopping carts. Those with active contagions are still going to buy the food. They are going to pick up products, read the labels, and sometimes put the items back on the shelves. (Many people pick up prescriptions to manage noncommunicable pathologies.) Some may sneeze or cough, but not cover their noses or mouths. This goes on and has gone on every day. We cannot stop it. I do hope, though, that people get their flu shots and immunizations to mitigate the severity of whatever it is that is being shared.

  3. Ever since 1975, when I dodged bikes, cars, and tour buses as an unarmed (thankfully) special officer in front of the A&P…I’ve been waiting for ‘them’ to fix the congestion problems. (And that was before mopeds. I actually stopped one…I never saw one before. Just doing my job.) Cheers.

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