Misinformation and mistruths about the proposed and much-needed Stop & Shop in Vineyard Haven is stunning. The suggestion that Stop & Shop is doubling the size of its store is a stretch beyond belief. Stop & Shop is expanding its footprint less than 6,000 square feet, most of the expansion is for storage and wider aisles. Parking for 42 cars will be provided below in an area that must be raised because of new flood plain regulations. This added parking is not part of the store.
I feel we are in some sort of altered reality here on Martha’s Vineyard as it relates to the proposed Stop & Shop. Instead of being praised for helping to improve Vineyard Haven with an impressive proposal to replace the eyesore that is their current supermarket, Stop & Shop is somehow criticized for being a good neighbor.
A recent editorial in the newspaper states: “The detailed, $1.165 million package would have Stop & Shop funding a veritable Christmas list of town projects — paying to move a historic house, donating to Habitat for Humanity, providing funds for traffic mitigation and fixing up the town comfort station, among other things.”
This should be praiseworthy, yet somehow the mitigation package is criticized. The mitigation package agreed to by the Tisbury selectmen and Stop & Shop is the culmination of almost a year of public discussion and debate. It addresses existing problems on the Island that otherwise would not be by any other entity.
This mitigation comes with the benefit of having a beautiful new supermarket built to replace the old, outdated and ugly Stop & Shop in Vineyard Haven.
Why this should be criticized defies belief. We have a rare opportunity to finally improve our downtown area. Let’s not turn our backs on this opportunity because of a small vocal group of people who seem to believe that no change is the best kind of change.
The writer is manager of the Vineyard Haven Stop & Shop.