The Village of Warwick shook my hand 26 years ago. When I bought my home they gave me their word in writing regarding the property at 16 Elm St.  that "any use detrimental to neighboring properties by reason of noise, odor, or any factor dangerous to the peace, enjoyment, health or safety of the neighborhood is a prohibited use." With 90 bar stools, hamburger joint exhaust, bar chatter from 1,350 square feet of decks plus a 3,600-foot facility, the current application simply falls into the prohibited use category.

When you give your word to your neighbors you keep it. Lawyers can't contest it. In 1990 many of the same neighbors contested the application for the car storage lot at 16 Elm. Boundaries on the zoning map were included as a condition of permitting the lot to address neighborhood concerns. Those boundaries and restrictions imposed have gone missing from Village of Warwick records or are being ignored. They are acknowledged and remembered by the boards but no one can put their fingers on the details.

When records go missing you still go back to commitments you've made. Your word is your bond or in this case your code. Property values village-wide stand to be compromised. The village needs to keep their commitments even when that is uncomfortable for a long-time merchant.

Patrick Gallagher