Editorial: Respect private property rights

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Ken Goodman, owner of the R.W. Goodman Company store and parking lot at West Franklin and South Lee streets in downtown Rockingham, has reached an agreement with the Richmond County Farmers Market to lease the parking lot for selected hours each Wednesday and Saturday from May through October.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Ken Goodman, owner of the R.W. Goodman Company store and parking lot at West Franklin and South Lee streets in downtown Rockingham, has reached an agreement with the Richmond County Farmers Market to lease the parking lot for selected hours each Wednesday and Saturday from May through October.

People grumbled with Ken Goodman, owner of the R.W. Goodman Company building, situated at the corner of West Lee and West Franklin streets in downtown Rockingham, was blocked from public use by employees and visitors to the Richmond County Judicial Center and other nearby locations.

For years, the parking lot’s 60 spots have been utilized by not only customers of the furniture store but also patrons of Hudson Brothers Deli, both the old and new courthouses and law offices in and around Harrington Square — with or without permission. When the furniture store closed last fall, however, Goodman didn’t just turn off the lights and lock the doors to the building but also barred others from using the lot.

That made an awful lot of people unhappy and put many a motorists go out of their way to find a decent parking spot close to their destination. That, however, was not Goodman’s problem.

As private property, Goodman is able, and obligated, to do whatever he can, not for the benefit of downtown Rockingham but what’s in the best interest of his business — and, now that it’s closed, of whatever takes the place of the R.W. Goodman Company. Having a lot full of cars, Goodman said, could easily lead people to think the lot was owned and otherwise unavailable. That alone could ward off an unknowing suit who might suspect the building is for sale, according to signs in the store windows, but little parking exists.

Since that’s not the case, Goodman made the humanly difficult — but business-savvy — decision to keep the lot clear, and thereby help make it clear to any prospective suitor that lot and store were available together. The move might not have made the neighbors happy, but it seems Goodman is a willing seller, one who will listen to all offers. If someone wants to buy the store and lot and make the lot a public one, so much the better.

Recently, Goodman agreed to a six-month lease with the city of Rockingham, in which the city will pay Goodman $300 per month from May through October for the Richmond County Farmers Market to operate from 3 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. each Wednesday and from 8 a.m. to noon each Saturday.

It becomes our business only because taxpayer dollars are being used to fund the lease amount for the city. Otherwise, it’s entirely Goodman’s business what he does with the building and lot within the limits of city ordinances. According to the sign posted at one end of the parking lot, it seems Goodman also has arranged a deal for Hudson Brothers Deli customers to park in the lot.

We’d ask what that’s all about — but really, it’s none of our business.

 

Filed in: Featured News, Latest Headlines, Opinion

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