21 Aug 2014
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Fresh Thyme Offers Unique Transparency

New Deerfield grocery store will allow Village, neighboring home owners to view video recordings of delivery area.

Fresh Thyme Offers Unique Transparency

When neighboring homeowners of the proposed Fresh Thyme Farmers Market grocery store at Cadwell Corners expressed concern over the disturbance delivers near their back yards would make at all hours of the day , they wanted some relief.

Initially the store agreed to limit deliveries between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. but before the Village Board of Trustees finally passed the special use permit granting Fresh Thyme permission to operate, the neighbors got more.

While the Village keeps Fresh Thyme and the shopping owners under a close microscope during at least the first two years of operation, homeowners will be able to watch video recordings of the delivery area to satisfy themselves the agreement is being kept.

“I’m not aware of anything like this before,” Village Manager Kent Street said. “This is an example of an opportunity available to the homeowners association to check the project.” The Village asked Fresh Thyme for the right to look at the recordings but it was the company that opened it to neighbors, according to Street.

“The transparency we’re offering the Village of Deerfield is definitely unprecedented, but it shows our commitment to the residents behind our store and the Deerfield community as a whole,” Fresh Thyme CEO Chris Sherrell said. “We just needed a method to monitor the successful implementation of the mutually agreed upon policies.”

Groups of area homeowners spearheaded by the Deer Run Homeowners Association have been fighting the idea of a grocery store in their back yard since the idea was first proposed in July. The delivery hours were among the strongest concerns.

“Can we have one more sign by the loading dock,” neighboring homeowner Marvin Kogan said at the Board’s Nov. 4 meeting when the final legislation was passed. He wanted an additional warning to truck drivers who might arrive too early or too late. That was added to the agreement.

Before the special use permit was voted into law, Trustee Robert Nadler wanted one more check on Fresh Thyme and Cadwell Corners. “During the first two years (of the agreement) there should be at least three times a year for meetings (between the parties),” he said. That provision was added to the agreement as well.

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