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Neighbors protest Walgreens sprawl

By Violet Law
Sunday, December 11, 2005

More than 20 people rallied at the proposed site of a new Walgreens Saturday afternoon to protest the pharmacy’s plan to raze three homes to make way for a driveway.
The protesters said although they welcome the convenience of having the store nearby, they object to the company’s plan to push beyond the existing commercial lot into a quiet residential area.

Most of the protesters live in Park Place, a sliver of a neighborhood between Point Breeze and Regent Square. The Walgreens that is being planned at the southeast corner of Penn and South Braddock avenues is within a few blocks of their homes.

“Once you start moving the commercial line into residential property, that is a green light for more developers to come,” said Marisa Osorio, 38, who lives on South Braddock Avenue. “We want to avoid the commercial sprawl.”

Waving handmade cardboard signs and standing in ankle-deep snow that had piled up at the busy street corner yesterday, the residents maintained that they are not opposed to neighborhood development. They would be happy to live with a Walgreens that stays within the confines of what is now an Exxon gas station, they said.

The residents plan to take their objections to the city’s Zoning Board of Adjustment when the proposal comes before the board Thursday.

Violet Law can be reached at or (412) 320-7884.

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