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2005-04-09
Pembroke Pines, FL. Home Depot Runs Out of Parking Space.

Home Depot couldn't find a place to park this week in Pembroke Pines, Florida. The home improvement retailer wants to build a second store only one mile from the first in this community, but the size of their store created a "parking glitch" for the company, according to the Sun Sentinel newspaper. The city's Board of Adjustment refused to allow Home Depot to build a parking lot that is 151 parking spaces too small on the 27 acre site. Home Depot now has the option to appeal to the City Commission -- or, they could simply reduce the size of their store. But parking isn't the only problem the company has ahead of it. The land they want is also not zoned correctly, and any rezoning could be appealed by local residents to court, delaying the project for a year or more. Local residents testified that parking was a problem -- but so was increased traffic in the area. "It's going to be a zoo there," said the president of the nearby Pembroke Lakes Homeowners Association. This project is being purchased by a private developer from the Catholic Church. The Archdiocese of Miami has agreed to let a developer buy the site to develop a 252,000 s.f. shopping center, including the Home Depot, a bank, restaurants and other shops. The Church makes a nice profit, the neighborhood gets all the impact. Home Depot testified that its stores only need 233 parking spaces, and the retailer wants a smaller-size parking space, 9 feet x 19 feet rather than the standard 10 feet x 20 feet. Another downside for the city is that if Home Depot builds the new store, they have announced that they will close their existing store a mile away. The company said it prefers the new site because it is about 20,000 s.f. larger and closer to the Pembroke Lakes Mall.

What you can do: It's hard to believe that Home Depot would put the city through all this planning process for another 20,000 s.f. addition. The company is so consumed by expanding its square footage, as a way of trying to bolster its stockprice, that it will shut down a store one mile away to build a slightly bigger store. And what is Pembroke Pines supposed to do with the old store? This is clearly a case in which stockholders greed outweighs neighborhood need. Home Depot has a store minutes away from this location, and will pick up little new business by moving their store a mile. In this case, they have chosen a site that is not zoned correctly, and is the wrong size to hold a store this big. The city council can easily reject such a proposal, because the rezoning is not a mandate, and the building is too big for the lot.










 
 
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