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2004-09-15
Massena, NY. Neighbors Not Happy With Home Depot.

It's one thing to shop at Home Depot. It's quite another to be their neighbor. Residents in Massena, New York, are learning that having Home Depot next door is more than unpleasant. News 10 in Massena reports that neighbors are not thrilled with their close encounter with the largest home improvement retailer in the world. "We weren't against Home Depot coming to town," one resident told News 10. "We're against the fact that they had to land right in everyone's backyard. I'm just thankful I'm not on the other side of the street." Only a three foot high fence stands between Home Depot and the neighbors. The trees that might have buffered some of the noise and dust have been torn down. One neighbor added, "The way it is now, it's no good. It's not acceptable. We're going to get all the headlights and the noise. We were told that they wanted to be good neighbors, but we're kind of waiting to see if that's going to happen or not." Eventually, residents can expect a five to eight foot high berm, with trees on top. But residents of Massena will learn the hard way that you cannot buffer a store the size of Home Depot from its neighbors. The reality is, superstores and residential life are not compatible. It's a bad land use combination, but one that many local officials are willing to put up with in order to cash in on what they see as a revenue gain for their communities. Often the revenue never pans out, the neighbors' lives are changed for ever, and the value of their homes undermined.

What you can do: In my second book, "The Case Against Wal-Mart," I narrate the story of several communities that had a superstore come too close for comfort. In one case, from Lake Charles, Louisiana, homeowners actually saw a 25% drop in property valuation within four years of Wal-Mart's moving in. The property owners, through no action of their own, lost a major portion of their largest investment. Town assessors noted the loss of value was due to the nearby location of a Wal-Mart superstore. The "Mess in Massena" is only starting for these unfortunate Home Depot neighbors.










 
 
"Norman has become the guru of the anti-Wal-Mart movement" ~ 60 Minutes

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