Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

Last Friday’s compact and nearly complete coverage of the Stop & Shop’s Tisbury expansion made up for the fact that an off-Island appointment made me miss the hearing. If I had been there, and if the applicant did not present information on the scope of substances and services to be put on sale in the final solution, I would have asked a few questions. For instance, when Edgartown agreed to let this same giant operation turn abutting residential property into more grocery store, there seemed to be no limit on what would pass as groceries.

True, the development elsewhere of the Super Store has changed both arteries and neighborhoods, and in many cases resolved communication problems and discouraged urban blight. But this Island is different. A good part of its rich culture is the vital mix and diversity of its economy. I am not aware of whether this ever entered into the approval process in Edgartown, but here in the Vineyard’s main port town, we do not need to let public zoning largess take over without assurances that smaller shops, many with wares having nothing to do with tourism, will not disappear.

Here the Martha’s Vineyard Commission has an opportunity to help establish the reasons that the word economic was included in the language of its charter.

Joe Eldredge, West Tisbury