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2002-11-12
San Juan Capistrano, CA. Everytime Home Depot Returns, Residents Give Them The Bird.

Home Depot must assume that if the swallows can return to San Juan Capistrano -- they can too. But every time the Orange giant flaps its wings, local residents flip them the bird! Most recently, on the November 5th. ballot, residents in SJC voted a whopping 69% against the use of 13 acres of city land for a Home Depot. Although the vote was non-binding. members of the City Council have told the Capistrano Valley News that they intend to fly with the voters. The City Council will formally vote on the plan in January, but on that date they are expected to unanimously clip Home Depot's wings. "A group of seniors brought this to the forefront," explained Bobbi Decker, one of the organizers of the "No on DD" campaign, "and the whole community has backed the fact -- we don't want the big box business in town. It's a business that would affect 27 of our merchants, and the character of our town." Home Depot was prepared to pay $9 million for the city land. One major Home Depot mistake was trying to build too close to the senior citizens in the Capistrano Valley Mobile Estates. Home Depot has the choice now to withdraw their plans. The retailer got city officials to agree not to sell the land to another home improvement store for five years. (So much for free market competition.) A Home Depot spokesman told the Valley news that his company would "huddle internally to see what our next step will be." But with all the politicians lining up to vote as the public directed, Home Depot has little chance of making this project fly. Mayor John Gelff summed up the sentiment: "I've been against the Home Depot project since I ran for Council two years ago, and I'm still against it."

What you can do: Local activist Jack Heath brought us this good news from SJC. He wrote in the margin on his letter: "The Council will vote 5-0 against Home Depot project, and we will have won after a six year battle! We got it on the ballot, and we killed it this time!" For more history on this battle, search this database by "Capistrano."










 
 
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