Nova Scotia

Frenchys unwanted on Berwick street

Some residents of Berwick say they don't want a second-hand clothing store next door.
Polly Scott doesn't want the store next door to her home. (CBC)
Some residents of Berwick say they don't want a second-hand clothing store next door.

Polly Scott and neighbour Wanda Hall have started a petition to keep a Guy's Frenchys store off their quiet residential street.

"I just think it would have a lot more traffic, a lot more noise," Scott said. "I mean, it's a seven-day-a-week operation."

"We don't feel that a commercial development is something that we can put up with, want to put up with," Hall added.

Guy's Frenchys wants to buy the old Lions Club community centre on Brown Street. To do that, Berwick town council must rezone the property from institutional to commercial.

Mayor John Prall said the town needs to expand to stay afloat.

The Frenchys store is now on Front Street. (CBC)

"If that doesn't happen, we become a bedroom community, and our tax rate has to go up," he said.

The Guy's Frenchys outlet is currently on Front Street. Shopper Elaine Potter likes that the new store would be one level and offer better parking.

"I don't know if the neighbours will appreciate that, but it would be good for the community," Potter said.

Hall questions that. She said it's a matter of a clothing store moving to a new location, not a new business coming to town.

Scott, who runs a bed and breakfast on Brown Street, said Frenchys could relocate to another area of Berwick already zoned as commercial.

The battle over what goes into the old Lions Club building is complicated because so many people are club members. The mayor and two town councillors, for example, are not involved in the decision-making process because of a conflict of interest.

The three councillors who can debate the issue plan to do so at the end of the month.

Hall and Scott hope they can ultimately stop the sale on Brown Street.

"They came from Ontario, we came from Halifax with the intent of living here and building up our properties," Hall said. "All we're saying is please show us the courtesy and respect that we feel that everyone on this street deserves."