Hickory, NC. Proposed Lowe's Store Has Neighbors Upset
One victory over Lowe's was not enough in Hickory, North Carolina. Local activists there say the number 2 home improvement retailer is back in town for a second try to nail down the neighbors. Here's a report from the front lines in Hickory: "A Lowe's hardware store complex has been planned and is currently undergoing discussion at the city council level. The location they have planned for it is right in the middle of the oldest residential area in town, and will displace no fewer than 5 local, family-owned businesses that have been around as long as I've lived here. Worse, the Lowes will be built right next to
the only public high school in the city. This area of Hickory is the nicest part of the city. It is still heavily wooded and is full of small, windy residential streets that are quiet and pleasant to live on. The residents here feel that the Lowes complex will completely change the character of our home area, which is also home to most of the city's locally owned restaurants and stores, which we are afraid will be put out of businesses and replaced with characterless places like Applebees and Walmart. We also fear that the increased traffic to the Lowes store will be used as an excuse to revive a freeway expansion plan that we fought and defeated several years ago. This planned multi-lane highway is still on the books, and will cut right through the backyards of many longterm residents. The Lowes plan came up a few months ago and was beaten back by public outcry. Lowes has now come back with a new plan that is identical to the old one, but many people seem to have rolled over and adopted a defeatist attitude; they don't realize that the issue is not a done deal and that we must fight against it if we want to keep our pleasant living area the way it is. We also need to raise public awareness of this issue and tell people that the fight is not over."
What you can do: For an earlier story about Hickory's battles with Wal-Mart, search Newsflash by the city's name. For local contacts in Hickory, email firstname.lastname@example.org