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Aldermen to revisit CVS denial

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RACINE — More than five months after their last vote on the issue, aldermen could once again discuss whether to reverse the City Council’s decision denying CVS the zoning it needs to build a store at Washington Avenue and Ohio Street.

As part of the Tuesday meeting of the City Council’s Committee of the Whole, the panel is slated take up a proposal from Alderman Jim Kaplan to have the City Council rescind its Aug. 3 vote denying zoning to the project.

“I guess I’m still the eternal optimist,” said Kaplan, a proponent of the CVS proposal. “I will continue to support CVS. Even though they told me they weren’t going to come back here.”

The meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. in Room 205 of City Hall, 730 Washington Ave.

“Honestly, I bet it’s gonna end up 50-50 again this time,” he predicted on Saturday. That would mean City Council President Dennis Wiser would vote to break the tie and “will kill it.”

Wiser couldn’t be reached for comment on Saturday.

Kaplan said he doesn’t believe that CVS has an option to buy the property anymore.

“Now they’ll be looking at Mount Pleasant and Caledonia,” Kaplan said of CVS officials. “They said it was just too crazy to try to work in Racine. They said it’s not a friendly business area. And we are starving for business.”

Kaplan submitted his request to Wiser, who chairs the Committee of the Whole and calls its meetings, more than four months ago.

Alderman Henry Perez said that four-month delay is because Wiser “can hold back any of our requests” for periods of time, and say “we have a very busy schedule and we’ll bring it up when we can.”

Perez said he expects it to be voted down again, saying, “the likelihood of it passing is pretty slim.”

CVS’s attempt to get city approval to build a 24-hour location at the intersection appeared to have ended on Aug. 3 when aldermen voted 7-6 to deny a request to rezone the land. Perez had hoped a request he made to rescind the vote in late August would be discussed at a Committee of the Whole meeting, but it never made it to an agenda.

The item was initially referred to the committee during the Sept. 1 City Council meeting, but later in that meeting, Wiser asked for the item to be extracted from the consent agenda — a package of committee recommendations and referrals that are generally approved all at once — and voted on that night. The motion was ultimately defeated.

“It’s a good location,” Perez said. “I don’t even know how CVS has tolerated working with the city.”

“I guess I’m still the eternal optimist."

— Alderman Jim Kaplan, speaking about trying to get approval for a CVS store at Washington Avenue and Ohio Street.

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