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2007-01-20
Los Angeles, CA. Home Depot, Donít Phone Home

If you ask the residents of the Los Angeles, California neighborhood of Sunland-Tujunga, they will tell you that there are 9 Home Depots within a 30 minute drive of their community, with one only 7 minutes away! The site Home Depot has chosen is on the location where some of the filming of the movie "E.T." took place. For many S-T residents, a Home Depot siting is definitely like an alien landing. On May 6, 2006, Sprawl-Busters reported that Home Depot's plans to build a new store in Sunland-Tujunga, got hammered by local residents. So the retailer switched to Plan B, which involves renovating the interior of an old Kmart site. But Plan B has not gone too well either. At a public hearing yesterday, the Sunland-Tujunga Neighborhood Council helped turn out local residents, who complained about traffic, and the site's location one block from a special needs elementary school. Citizens have gained an ally in their local City Councilwoman, Wendy Greul, who told NBC Channel 4 News, "I have been opposed to this proposed Home Depot site since I first learned about it in October 2004." Home Depot has been gathering signatures in support of their store. "We're very interested in diverse community locations," a Home Depot spokesman told Channel 4. "We have ultimate flexibility on what size and where we locate. We could come close to doubling the number of stores in LA." Home Depot sent out an email urging people to come to the Public Hearing to speak out in support of their proposed store. "The letter was full of the usual promises of jobs and 'caring about the community,'" said opponents. "The cover letter for this email came from Dakota Communications. the bungling PR firm hired by Home Depot to try and sell their store to our community. As you may know, Home Depot has never been able to produce any measurable support for their project at any public meetings."

What you can do: Residents in S-T vow to keep up the pressure on the city of Los Angeles to reject this store. They would rather have extraterrestrials than the orange-blooded Home Depot. The group has already won a major battle by forcing Home Depot to move into the existing Kmart. This is exactly what neighbors forced Home Depot to do in Coconut Grove, Miami, Florida. Home Depot in Coconut Grove wanted to tear down an existing Kmart, and build a new store, but that plan met a firestorm of opposition in Miami. Now in Los Angeles, Home Depot also wanted to tear down a Kmart store to build a new Home Depot, but that plan also died. To find out more about the citizens group fighting Home Depot in Sunland-Tujunga, and how to contribute money to their effort, go to http://www.no2homedepot.com










 
 
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