Columbiaâ??s pharmacy wars are heating up.
It appears a new CVS Pharmacy will open at the corner of Broadway and Providence Road.
The store is coming to town without the blessing of the city council.
CVS Pharmacy plans to buy property and build a store across the street from a Columbia Walgreens. Last year, CVS agreed to make the commercially zoned property more attractive to the Columbia City Council but council members rejected the plan. Now, Columbiaâ??s Planning and Zoning Commission voted to lift any city restrictions on the storeâ??s design which stops council members from having any authority over the construction of the store.
Planning and Zoning Commission member Andy Lee said, â??I would expect that CVS would build their normal building that they build in every other place without the changes at the pocket park, the reduced lighting and all of that other stuff.â??
The final site plan combines 3 commercially zoned lots into a single lot. Council members who voted against the rezoning request said the suburban style layout and the design of the project would not fit well with the character of Downtown Columbia. Councilman Fred Schmidt has the downtown area in his First Ward. Schmidt said CVS should have gone back to the council before going before the Planning and Zoning Commission.
Schmidt said, â??I think itâ??s a bad outcome because theyâ??re sort of taking the attitude of to heck with you, we are going to go ahead. Thatâ??s just going to bring them bad karma. They are coming into the community, really, on a bad note.â??
Council members will not have enough control over the project to stop it when they consider the companyâ??s official request at next monthâ??s council meeting.