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2005-10-12
Billerica, MA. Residents Upset by Home Depot Plan

The town that stopped Wal-Mart from buying up one of its last farms, now has a Home Depot to contend with -- and neighbors are not pleased. Here's a report from the front lines: "Our local town newspaper reported that Home Depot coming to Billerica. Their plan is to move into the partially vacated Billerica Mall which is situated on Boston Rd (Billerica's ' Main St " ) within 1/2 mile of the historic town common. The Billerica Town Manager was quoted in the same report as being enthusiastic about how Home Depot will positively impact the town's tax base; a rep from the local Chamber of Commerce was quoted as saying Home Depot would bring jobs to Billerica. I have been told that this is pretty much a done deal as the Mall area zoning will allow for Home Depot to move right in; that there is nothing the residents can do to stop it. I was also told that Home Depot will need to expand the present building; and that building permits will be required. The Town Manager stated that 'hearings' will be held in the near future. There are, however, many townspeople, who have voiced their concerns about Home Depot moving to Billerica and destroying several local businesses."

What you can do: Basic principle: there is no such thing as a done deal. City officials often hope that citizens will go away if they hear it's a "done deal." The Chamber of Commerce has no idea what Home Depot will do for area jobs, once you net out the jobs that will be lost elsewhere in Billerica. Home Depot rarely uses existing buildings. They will tear down most of the existing store to build their new store, so its not an infill, and should be treated as new construction.










 
 
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