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LIGHTNING EDITORIAL: Find a way to green-light project

The city of Hendersonville, property owner Bub Hyder and the CVS drugstore chain should work out a design that will allow a promising redevelopment on the South Main Street strip of land.

We'll stipulate that there is a lot going on at property that houses the old Mr. Gatti's, a finance office and auto repair shop, and that the traffic pattern that CVS wants — a left turn in, left turn out driveway permit — creates a challenge.
Traffic engineers with the Department of Transportation, CVS and the city looked at the traffic patterns again this week trying to come up with a plan that will allow safe movement.
Hyder's property stretches to Spartanburg Highway on the south and to Mud Creek on the north. King, Main and Church streets converge just to the north. The southbound lanes of Main Street split to go east on Spartanburg Highway and south on Greenville Highway. The fact that the property runs all the way to the creek limits the options for moving the driveway farther north.
Still, traffic engineers have worked out complicated traffic movement puzzles before, and they ought to put their heads together to solve this one. A stoplight is one option, although that too raises other problems.
Yet the upside of redevelopment is too great to ignore.
Hyder, who bought the property three years ago, plans to tear down all three buildings on the land if he can get state and city approval for a driveway permit. A CVS store, while not exactly an architectural match for Historic Main Street, can be made into a suitable transition into the commercial center of Henderson County. There's no question it would improve the look of what is there now.
Drugstores nowadays are mini-markets, offering a line of groceries and other merchandise aside from the pharmacy service. Since the Grocery Outlet closed, Main Street has not had a food market.
The CVS store less than a quarter mile away, beside the Ingles supermarket, will have to move when the supermarket chain razes that strip center for a new store.
Hyder is frustrated with what he regards as the city's intransigence on the issue.
"They spent close to $700,000 on that (gateway welcome) sign and they won't let me at my expense clean up what's approaching that sign," he says.
As City Manager Bo Ferguson points out, motorist safety and the orderly flow of traffic is a city obligation, too. The city has invested a few million dollars downtown in making Main Street a more attractive place for shopping, dining and entertainment. Here, private investment would advance the goal of cleaning up the part of the gateway that still needs a makeover.
All the parties involved ought to find a way to make it work.