Hall versus Stop & Shop court battle continues

Judge Mark Gildea took arguments from attorneys involved in the lawsuit filed by Courtway Trust on behalf of Benjamin Hall Sr. against the Edgartown Stop & Shop’s expansion project under advisement. — Eunki Seonwoo

Judge Mark Gildea heard arguments from attorneys involved in the lawsuit filed by Courtway Trust on behalf of Benjamin Hall Sr. against the Edgartown Stop & Shop’s expansion project on Tuesday. Gildea took the case under advisement after a hearing at Dukes County Superior Court. 

Stop & Shop’s project started in July after lengthy delays caused by Hall’s other legal challenges. The lawsuit, filed with Dukes County Superior Court on July 11, names Stop & Shop, the Edgartown building inspector, Stop & Shop’s local attorney Geoghan Coogan, William J. Cummings, WJG Realty Trust, and the Martha’s Vineyard Commission in the complaint. Benjamin Hall Sr., who is an abutter with Stop & Shop in Edgartown, argues through his son Benjamin Hall Jr. that the supermarket is in violation of the agreed-upon conditions placed by the MVC when it was approved in 2018. In particular, Hall argues that the onsite work surpasses the two-year limitation regarding the commencement of construction. 

The text of the commission’s conditional approval of the project does have a “length of validity” to it, citing that “if construction does not occur during [a two-year period], this decision shall become null and void and have no further effect.” The commission also states “this time period may be extended upon written request from the applicant and written approval from the Martha’s Vineyard Commission.”

The commission filed a motion to dismiss the case. Hall filed two motions on the day of the hearing. One was to strike an affidavit of attorney Sara Jane Shanahan and “any other affidavits presented by the movants on their respective motions to dismiss” alongside “such other and further relief as the court finds just and equitable.” The other was dismissing another lawsuit, which also targets the commission’s two-year limitation, and consolidating it with this lawsuit. 

Gildea denied these motions. 


  1. Regardless of the Halls
    If the Stop & Shop was a true community builder their expansion would take into consideration that they are right up against a neighborhood and on one of two major roads into/out of Edgartown. Not only does that create at times a mile back up, but that shuttles buses are a requested form of transportation during the summer.
    If S & S would consider mid sized stores in convenient locations on the outskirts of three MV towns, it might get higher reception from all.
    Has anyone looked up the holding of the Ahold company that owns S & S. What are their priorities?

    • Can’t think of more community building than providing the overall best food prices on the island, especially during the ever-rising costs of food. The quality and selection also cannot be beat. The Stop and Shop brand products, fresh, canned, or frozen, are high quality, and many people follow the excellent sales each week. That’s what matters most to many islanders.

      Can’t think of less community minded folks than the Halls.

      • I’ll be sure to pass this on to Mr. Epstein as I’m sure he will be delighted to know that the Hall’s are lower on your totem pole of elitism and what you deem as acceptable community participation. But thanks for sharing.

    • Smaller stores provide less shelf space for product resulting in both fewer choices for the shopper and smaller package sizes which cost more per ounce.

  2. This is entirely off topic, but I hope George will bear with me. I wanted to bring up the subject of trolling.

    This is quoted from the Google search, “Comment Trolling”:

    “What is trolling exactly?
    The Online Cambridge Dictionary defines a troll as someone who leaves an intentionally annoying message on the Internet, in order to get attention or cause trouble. Unlike basic hate speech, trolling does not intend to promote ideas or positions.
    What happens if you leave a troll comment in a discussion?
    A single troll comment in a discussion – perhaps written by a person who woke up on the wrong side of the bed – can lead to worse moods among other participants, and even more troll comments elsewhere. As this negative behavior continues to propagate, trolling can end up becoming the norm in communities if left unchecked.
    Most people believe that two factors motivate trolls and trolling behaviors:
    They’re bored.
    They want attention.”
    The problem with trolling is that beyond the annoyance of it, it lowers the quality of conversation and leaves people not wanting to contribute intelligently or engage in further discussion. It’s an immature way to work out feelings. My experience with trolls here at the Times is that it usually occurs because someone has hurt or angry feelings about something I’ve said, and they resort to making inapprjopropriate, insulting, or instigating comments. Eventually it stops, but it can take a while and, in my view, the practice damages any further intelligent discussion once it starts in a thread.

    I also wanted to point out that there are people who are commenting here with using a phony name. The other day I talked to an acquaintance who told me they comment here with a made up name and all one needs to do is make up a name and get a free email address and fill in the blanks. Anonymity is not part of the simple deal here, so it is an unfair and cowardly thing to do. It is dishonest and disrespectful to the moderator as well who has to wade through all this. There may be extenuating circumstances that make one feel the need to hide who they are here, but mostly it’s a form of cheating. People who need to cheat to say what they want to say are most often not worth listening to or spending time talking to.

  3. Jacki:

    Clearly this is directed at me and that’s fine. However, you really should take a long hard look in the mirror before making such an allegation. You have called me misogynistic, a white male and even a Christian to attack me for my opinions. I simply said that you should not make assumptions about me and for some reason you have taken great offense.

    You are one of the most frequent and controversial commenters on this forum and have very strong opinions, but they are just opinions. And just because you post a link from an author that agrees with your opinion does not make it so. There is a reply button for a reason and that is so people with varying opinions can also be heard. It’s not a personal sound board filled with your fans. You made other comments about me liking me to someone who has no value and that I’ll just go away if ignored. Well I’m not going away and will continue to express my opinions within the rules of this forum as well as respect for others. I would suggest you do the same.

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