A march will be held Thursday at 10 a.m. to protest plans for a CVS pharmacy on a busy corner in downtown Bridgehampton.
Carey Millard, a former co-chair of the Bridgehampton Citizens Advisory Committee, organized the demonstration to show "how very unhappy we are," she said of the proposal, which calls for a two-story CVS at the foot of Main Street, totaling about 9,000 square feet of retail space, plus a 4,400-square-foot basement for storage.
While the building still needs approval from the town, Ms. Millard said it appears as if the proposal will go through, despite a code that limits the size of stores to 5,000 square feet. The store would be open from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Opponents, including a newly organized group called Save Bridgehampton Main Street, object not only to the size of the proposal, but also to its location at one of the busiest intersections in the hamlet. The building is proposed on a vacant lot at 2510 Montauk Highway, formerly home to a beer store, on the northwest corner of the highway, where Lumber Lane and the Bridgehampton-Sag Harbor Turnpike meet. The newly finished Topping Rose House, a hotel, restaurant, and spa, is on the northeast side of the highway, the 1840 Nathaniel Rogers House, which is being restored, is on the southeast corner, and Almond restaurant calls the southwest corner home.
"Already, it is a nightmare for traffic -- if there is an enormous store there, which has very little parking, it is going to be mind-numbing," Ms. Millard said, adding that Lumber Lane, "a lovely residential lane that already has traffic backed up on it," is going to fare even worse.
A petition from Save Bridgehampton Main Street calls for the corner to be preserved from commercial development.
"I think people are just horrified that the historic town is being threatened with a huge chain store in the middle of town, when it should be in the mall," she said, referring to the Bridgehampton Commons shopping complex to the west. "We know that CVS was turned down in Sag Harbor . . . now we're being picked on and we don't want them either. I think we want to go on record with that."
Ms. Millard said demonstrators will meet outside Starbucks on Main Street, carry signs to the future CVS property, and then walk down Main Street toward the Candy Kitchen and back. She expects to be there about an hour.
"We have to physically show that we're furious about this," she said.