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2006-09-16
Millcreek, UT. Home Depotís Mess May Force Shut-Down

"Clean up your act!" That's the municipal message being delivered loud and clear to Home Depot this week by officials in Millcreek Township, Utah. The town has warned Home Depot that it needs to do some home improvement of its own. The unhappiness with Home Depot is over some dead trees and shrubs, an unsecured retention pond, and some large clumps of concrete in a landscaped area outside the Home Depot on Highland Drive. The Millcreek Township Planning Commission says it may yank the retailer's conditional-use permit. Home Depot is in violation of nine provisions of that permit approved in 2003. Violations include an improper storage unit in the west parking lot, failure to install metal deflectors on the west parking-lot lights to mitigate lighting impacts in the adjacent neighborhood, and the dead trees and shrubs. "If they were that minor, then they should just fix it themselves," Mark Crockett, a Salt Lake County councilman who represents Millcreek Township told the Deseret Morning News. "The infractions seem relatively minor, but it's good for the county to make sure people follow the rules." Home Depot responded by saying, "We have satisfied many of these conditions and continue to work with the county on resolution of this matter." But according to the newspaper, it took at least a year of site inspections, notices of violations and correction notices to finally force the county to threaten revocation of the retailer's conditional use permit. The 90,000 s.f. store, plus garden center was fought by neighbors, two of whom took the store to court, but finally settled the case in 2004. Those two neighbors are now on the township and county planning commission, activated by what they saw happen in the Home Depot case. "This development was met with considerable neighborhood and area opposition when first proposed," the township said in a letter to Home Depot. "Property owners and residents to the west were particularly concerned. In spite of our assurances to the contrary, their concerns now appear to have been well-founded."

What you can do: Home Depot tells consumers, "You can do it, we can help." But apparently when it comes to improving its own properties, they can't seem to do it, and no one can help. Sprawl-Busters has a file full of city and town complaints about Home Depot code violations that became persistent and uncorrected. The company has often run afoul of local authorities for their lack of responsiveness to site-related problems with their stores. For more background, contact info@sprawl-busters.com.










 
 
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