Why isn’t there a grocery store in Windsor Locks?

At the public hearing for the zone change at 64 South Elm Street, somebody (I forget who, you hear so many stupid things at these meetings) mentioned that we have never in recent years been able to support a grocery store in Windsor Locks. The implication was that all that stuff in the Plan of Conservation and Development (POCD) about smart growth wasn’t relevant. The commission spends half of its time looking for “one weird trick” to avoid having to actually make decisions in accordance to the POCD.

Well, let’s address this. A big part of the reason this town cannot support a grocery store is that we have suffered from a lack of planning for many years. The town does not really have activity hubs. We cannot support a grocery store because we are a small town and our density is spread around in a slapdash fashion. Because the town is small, most people can easily cross the town line for groceries. If the Planning & Zoning Commission actually made decisions in a way that steered development toward the Main Street area (as directed by the POCD), we could certainly build a community full of people who would utilize a local grocery store.

So it is crazy to argue that we should not focus development efforts near Main Street because we don’t have amenities down there anyway. We’ll never get them with that attitude.