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2005-08-29
Lacey, NJ. Home Depot Left Thirsting for Water

Home Depot has been hung out to dry, thanks to local activists in Lacey, New Jersey. If the giant retailer thought it was going to be smooth sailing into Lacey, they've been stuck in dry dock for more than two and a half years. The latest delay is over a permit for the city to expand its water allocation permit, so it can pump more water for Home Depot. But this permit is not an automatic approval from the state. Here's an update from activists in Lacey: "P.R.E.I. T. Services LLC, (the Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust Company) presented a plan for a 300,000 s.f. Retail Center with a Home Depot in Lacey back in January 2003. Plans for this monstrosity were discovered by residents in late 2002. Not only was this to be constructed on a two-lane State road, but almost the entire 42 acres sits over the municipal well head area. Residents sued in July 2003 after full local approvals were given. The Concerned Citizens of Lacey charged the Planning Board's decision was arbitrary and capricious since no economic impact statement was ever requested, the buildings were the largest ever proposed in the Township, and the traffic study was flawed. A judge ruled in favor of the defendant in July 2004. Due to the size and nature of the project, to this day, the developer has been unable to secure all State permits from the DEP and DOT. The full water impact will not be known unless DEP says no to underground drainage now. Otherwise this is a wait and see site. The township at present doesn't even have pumping capacity to service the site and is awaiting a water allocation permit from the DEP. Even if Home Depot needs a private well, can they do it safely within the well head area? Should they be allowed to not only drain the municipal water supply, but possibly contaminate it as well? Home Depot has a track record for polluting water at many sites in New Jersey. Will Lacey be next? Only time will tell. The persistent developer purchased the property recently and spent over $8 million for the 42 acres and an adjacent parcel to gain a portion of frontage they needed for roadway improvements. Vigilant Concerned Citizens keep watch."

What you can do: For more information on this Home Depot battle, contact Concerned Citizens of Lacey, Regina Discenza, Organizer, at www.nohomedepot.us. For earlier stories, search Newsflash by "Lacey."










 
 
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