EDITORIAL: Business won't hurt Big Rock

A popular espresso shop’s plan to move across the street has done a good job of stirring up the town of Coupeville.

Customers seem to like Miriam’s Espresso, but there are differences on whether the business should be allowed to move from the east side to the west side of South Main Street. The move will entail building on an empty lot that presently affords an unobstructed view of the town’s famous Big Rock.

Emotions ran high at a July 9 town council meeting on the subject. Opponents wanted to purchase the lot themselves and turn it into a Big Rock park for the public to enjoy. It’s not an ideal park site, however. And the land does not include the rock, which makes it even more questionable as a park.

Unfortunately, the opposition arose months after the espresso shop’s owners, Frank and Miriam Meyer, put money down on the lot and started making plans for their new building. What should have been a positive milestone in their lives turned into something of a nightmare as opponents started organizing.

Mayor Nancy Conard was correct to point out that the meeting was a procedural thing, rather than a plebiscite on whether the project should be allowed. And procedurally, the Meyers’ had done everything right in seeking a rezone. That’s why the council voted unanimously to approve the proposal. They really had no choice, and besides, it makes sense. Miriam’s is a successful, well-liked business and has a right to grow in an appropriate area.

We trust the new Miriam’s will be an attractive and a welcome addition to the town of Coupeville. It won’t be long before people wonder what the big deal was, or even why there was even a controversy to begin with.

As for Big Rock itself, it sits on somebody else’s property. It’s been there for thousands of years, and the present owners are no threat to its existence. Perhaps the town needs some Big Rock rules to preclude some future owner from grinding it up into gravel, but a new business in the neighborhood isn’t going to hurt it.

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