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2001-03-24
Milford, PA. Home Depot Pulls Out; Size Cap Passes

More than four months ago, Newsflash reported (see 11/3/2000 below) that Home Depot had been rejected by the Planning Board in Milford, Pennsylvania. At the time, Home Depot was not prepared to throw in the orange towel. "We intend to proceed," said Home Depot's agents. "The recommendation does not constitute a ruling. It's only a recommendation." But on March 22nd, the Pike County Dispatch ran a headlline that read: HOME DEPOT PULLS OUT; OPPOSITION ELATED. Bill Kiger, of the citizen's group MADSET, said "we're obviously elated. We worked hard to present all the reasons to Home Depot why this was not a good idea at Exit 10. We communicated that to the public, and the public responded." The Milford Township Supervisors received a letter from Home Depot announcing their intention to withdraw their land-development application. The Supervisors voted unanimously to deny Home Depot their pending conditional use application as well. To nail the deal shut, the Supervisors took the added step of voting to adopt a new big box zoning ordinance that would limit commercial operations to no more than 60,000 s.f, adding Milford, PA to a growing list of towns that have voted to place size limits on retail stores. According to The News Eagle, the Home Depot project "evaporated" and died "quietly". The project was denied for several reasons, including lack of public need, possible adverse affect on the surrounding area's character, traffic problems, and mainly problems with site design.

What you can do: "We impacted the final outcome," said Bill Kiger. "A lot of that was Al Norman, a national sprawlbuster, who proposed a big box amendment, and Milford Township passed it last night, not on its own, but as a part of a total zoning amendment." In describing the citizen's "vehement" opposition to Home Depot, the New Eagle wrote: "The group even brought in a speaker from Sprawl-Busters, a national organization that aids groups working to prevent the development of big box buildings and strip malls." But the reality is the citizens of Milford, and their local officials, understood that Home Depot was too big for Milford, and would hurt local businesses. For more information on the Milford Township battle that slam-dunked Home Depot, contact Bill Kiger at 570-296-6753.










 
 
"Norman has become the guru of the anti-Wal-Mart movement" ~ 60 Minutes

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