filed under West End
BY jim almo
[Update: The meeting went well and the parties have come to an agreement. Read the ProJo "Full steam ahead for Cluck!" — BC]
Abandoned gas station or urban farming supply store?
Cluck, an urban farm supply store, was scheduled to open on Broadway in March. Cluck has turned a neglected, vacant gas station and empty lot into what could be a vibrant, community-focused small business. Due to a technical issue, however, the zoning variance necessary for the shop was revoked.
Sts. Vartanantz Church and two other neighbors oppose the zoning variance and the opening of this shop stating that it will alter the fabric of the community. The church has been using the empty lot for parking, and the leadership is more blunt in their opposition; “There’s no place to park. You’re going to see literally dozens of parishioners not be able to come to church.” (Providence Phoenix 4.17.13)
While awaiting the new zoning hearing, Cluck owner Drake Patten has obtained a peddler’s license, allowing for a yard sale type set up. The opposition, in turn, has filed for a restraining order to prevent Cluck from using the peddler’s license. The new zoning hearing will cost Patten approximately $10,000, along with the loss of business from the inability to open her shop.
Cluck has taken a deserted lot and abandoned gas station, and turned it into a welcoming and productive space. There is no farm store in the city, and few places aside from the big box construction stores to get basic materials like soil, seeds, and gardening supplies. Cluck is a small business trying to open in a city that would benefit from its presence.
Zoning Board hearing, 5:30pm, Monday, May 13, Doorley Municipal Building, 444 Westminster Street