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Neighbors worry about Gates Circle future

Posted: 11:07 AM, Sep 30, 2015
Updated: 2015-09-30 15:07:25Z

If you're headed to see the former Gates Circle Hospital demolished on Saturday, you may see some signs sprouting up on neighbor's lawns.

The signs say "preserve neighborhood zoning" and they're pointing to the next battle they face with the city and the developer.

"Hundreds of years ago, very brilliant minds designed this part of the city to be residential," said Gretchen Cercone, who spearheads a community block club near Gates Circle.

Cercone and her neighbors say once the hospital is gone, the developer TM Montonte has proposed zoning the nearly seven acre land as all commercial. Neighbors are concerned with what could be built at the end of their street, and they fear the character of their neighborhood will be diminished.

"We don't want to see a blanket commercial zoning on the property," said Cercone. "That would open the door to all kinds of large retail that is not appropriate to the nature of this historic neighborhood."

The group wants the developer to section off the zoning.

Initial plans indicate a grocery store, fitness center and other retail shops will be built at the site. Cercons says there are also plans to make her street (Lancaster) an access route to the new plaza, and neighbors fear this could bring a lot of traffic to their neighborhood.

"There will be trucks coming in and out," she said. "I mean if you have a grocery store, there will be large trucks making deliveries. We don't live on the truck route."

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