CHARLES TOWN — Work to tear down a number of downtown buildings where a CVS is slated to be built has now begun, says Charles Town Mayor Peggy Smith.
Smith said a recent permit approval by the Division of Highways to eliminate two parking spaces clears the way for work at the site to begin.
“It is not necessary for (Charles Town City Council) to take any further action,” Smith said. “It is finished — hopefully.”
The work begun this week at the 300 block of West Washington Street follows a ruling by a Jefferson County Circuit Court, which dissolved an emergency injunction sought by two residents who said tearing down the buildings would be a mistake that would undermine the character of the town’s historic district.
Judge David H. Sanders ruled that petitioners Betsy Wells and Donald Rohel had no special standing as residents in arguing against the planned demolition of seven buildings to make way for the construction of a 14,000-square-foot CVS store.
Sanders had OKed an emergency injunction against the company, its development group, the Rebkee Company and the Charles Town Landmarks Commission early last week.
In reaching his conclusion, Sanders sided with CVS attorney Kenneth Barton, who said Rohel and Wells had no interests at stake in the project.
“If they don’t have standing they shouldn’t have filed in the first place,” Barton told Sanders during last week’s hearing. “They’re not an aggrieved party.”
The $5 million project would mean the closing of two other area CVS stores, one of them in Ranson.
Smith said she was pleased development of the site can move forward, and said the presence of the store will help bring about the revitalization of the city’s west end.
“CVS will serve as an anchor for the downtown merchants and will greatly enhance our western gateway,” she said.