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2001-02-17
Plainview, New York. War Against Home Depot

Home Depot wants to build a store on just under 10 acres of industrially zoned land in Plainview, Long Island. An "informational forum" held this week gave Home Depot a chance to organize its presentation to the residents, and gave the residents a chance to organize their own opposition. Residents put up posters outside of the meeting hall warning of Home Depot oversaturation, of traffic congestion, noise, air pollution, devalued property, truck traffic and deliveries at all hours. Because the land they want is not zoned commercially, Home Depot needs a special use permit, which is a discretionary act by the town, not a mandate. The company already has at least 16 stores on Long Island, including 3 stores within 5 miles of the proposed Plainview location. Many Long Island towns have complained that the company has not been a good neighbor, violating city codes, and upsetting neighbors. During the hearing, a Home Depot spokesman said the company wanted a store in Plainview, so that residents would not have to drive to Jericho. Residents laughed at the remark, according to Newsday newspaper, because Jericho is only five miles away. One resident quipped: "I will wait in line at the bagel store...longer than it will take me to get there." One local merchant said Home Depot came into his store "and tried to solicit my best salesperson to work in their Expo Lighting Center. What kind of neighborhood friends are you?" A resident from neighboring Jericho said the Home Depot store there was "a disgrace...garbage everywhere...Home Depot is the worst neighbor." Ginger Lieberman, president of the Washington Avenue Civic Association, told the gathering: "We are fighting to keep the quality of life at what we think it should be.Home Depot is coming in an telling us how we should live. We are the taxpayers and we have the right to say no. This is going to be a war."

What you can do: According to Newsday, one resident came up to the Home Depot representatives and thanked them for coming. "You did help us," the Plainview resident said. "You brought us all together and united us, and now we will fight together." Sprawl-Busters has reported on the numerous code violation problems that Home Depot has had on Long Island. You would think their reputation was clear enough to be seen from one end of the island to the other. In Nassau, NY, for example, the police told Newsday that Home Depot managers were "sort of playing deaf, dumb and blind" when confronted with neighbors' complaints about idling trucks in the parking lot. "They're saying its trucks delivering to them," the Nassau cops said, "so they're not responsible for them." For contacts with Plainview residents fighting Home Depot, contact info@sprawl-busters.com. And for another Home Depot story, see the next entry below.










 
 
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