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Stewart's Debate: East and West Meet

We've been following it from the beginning. And on Thursday night the debate pushing forward. One side of the city saying yes and the other saying no. The discussion between the two sides continues on Thursday night. A representative from Stewart’s scheduled to be on hand.

We've been following it from the beginning.  And on Thursday night the debate pushing forward.  One side of the city saying yes and the other saying no.  The discussion between the two sides continues on Thursday night.  A representative from Stewart’s scheduled to be on hand.

It's all started in February.  Businesses and homeowners in East Utica received a letter for a possible zoning change to allow a new Stewart’s shop on Culver Avenue.  Some businesses were concerned what this would mean for their revenue.

"We're a small business. The way the economy is, big chains, it's kind of hard for not just us but a lot of local businesses around here,” says Peter Logalbo, Parkway Pizza.

And some homeowners were concerned about changes in the neighborhood.

"It's going to be horrible. It’s going to take a while and it's going to upset the whole neighborhood. I’m really upset that it's going to be some place that's 24 hours because the things that happen after hours in this neighborhood is horrible," Sam Sardina, East Utica homeowner.

But the resistance in East Utica was just the opposite in West Utica.  Some say a Stewart’s Shop is just what that side of town needs.

"We need more development over here of every kind.  West Utica’s economic activity has diminished just like the rest of the city but perhaps even more so here," says Tim Trent, West Utica advocate.

Two weeks ago, the application for the Stewart’s Shop in East Utica went to the city zoning board.  It was voted down so now it's back to the drawing board.  Even though Stewart’s wants to stick with the East Utica location Mayor Robert Palmieri says he offered two city-owned locations to the convenience store but to no avail.

"We certainly didn't feel there was a need there at this point but they do and they're going to go through the due process at this time," says Mayor Palmieri.

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