The rumors of ’s departure have been exaggerated.
Over the past few weeks, we at Reading Patch have gotten a number of emails from readers concerned that their beloved supermarket would pack up and move out of town due to a lawsuit filed by the nearby Stop and Shop.
Well, they were half-right.
Stop and Shop filed a suit in November of 2007 that named Danis Reading LLC, the company that owns the Market Basket property, along with the Town of Reading’s Zoning Board of Appeals and each of its members as defendants.
But, lawyers for Stop and Shop and Danis settled their dispute in September with, as far as we can tell, no tangible action required by Market Basket.
“Nothing in the litigation would require Market Basket to do anything,” said Kevin O’Flaherty, a lawyer with Goulston and Storrs.
His firm represented Stop and Shop in the suit, which O’Flaherty said was dismissed after the parties came to an agreement—though the details of that agreement are confidential.
Whatever they are, they don’t seem to impact Market Basket shoppers. Management at the store said that, as far as they knew, the store was staying where it is.
The suit alleged that Danis had violated town zoning laws with its building plan, and the Zoning Board of Appeals had violated its duty by approving that plan—though the grocer dropped its claim against the town well before dropping their claim against Danis.
In the suit, Stop and Shop pointed to the Danis property’s lack of rear setbacks and plans for a structure too tall for town standards as reasons that Reading should have rejected the developer’s construction plans.
But, the board said, Danis was allowed to infringe as much as it did on its rear setbacks because it was a pre-existing condition of the property, and the structure that was too-tall for town standards was merely a piece of ornamentation—and empty tower never meant to hold people inside.
In the end, the suit ended with no party changing anything—at least, not publicly.