The first six speakers opposing a proposed liquor store on the southeast corner of Chester Boulevard and Sylvan Nook Drive received rousing applause during an Oct. 17 Spring Grove Board of Zoning Appeals meeting.

At that point, about a half-hour into the meeting, Harvinder Singh and Gurpreet Singh turned to the nearly 50 people attending and asked if everyone opposed their business. Told that was so, the Singhs withdrew their petition requesting a variance of use that would have permitted the liquor store on the currently vacant lot.

Some of those gathered thanked the Singhs for their accommodation as they filed from the chambers room inside the Wayne County Administration Building. In all, 18 residents had signed up to speak against the building and others had submitted emails opposing the liquor store.

The 0.196-acre site sits across Sylvan Nook Drive from Nature’s Nook health food store. A church is across Chester Boulevard, and homes line Sylvan Nook and other nearby streets.

Opposition centered around protecting the residential atmosphere of the neighborhood. Speakers also noted plenty of nearby businesses that sell liquor.

Anne Taylor, who spoke first, said a liquor store would be a “detriment to the community values of the residential area” and called the idea misguided.

Zachery Smith, who lives three houses from the corner lot, worried that if the store were robbed, the suspect could end up running through the neighborhood. He also expressed concern about extra traffic and impaired drivers while his 8-year-old daughter would be outside playing.

Other speakers worried about the possibility of increased crime, a rise in traffic accidents and lowered property values. Diana Pappin said the residential zoning of the property applies the most restrictions possible specifically to protect the neighborhood. She also worried about trash the business’s customers could leave.

“We need to preserve our community,” Pappin said, “make it look good.”

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A version of this article appeared in the October 25 2023 print edition of the Western Wayne News.

Mike Emery is a reporter and layout editor for the Western Wayne News.