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1999-12-12
Bonita Springs, FL. Home Depot Expansion Nixed

Residents of Bonita Springs, Florida have hammered Home Depot right where it hurts. The world's largest home improvement chain will not be getting the desired zoning variance they sought to boost their existing store from 99,999 s.f. to 149,500 s.f. The Lee County commissioners have voted 5-0 to reject the variance. The rejection came on the heels of a major anti Home Depot organizing effort launched by area residents, including letter writing and hundreds of residents at the public hearings. The project was opposed by the Bonita Bay Properties, and the Bonita Bay Community Association. Homeowners bussed residents up to the hearing in Ft.Meyers. The Lee County staff also recommended against the variance, but nonetheless a Hearing Examiner rejected the county staff opinion, and told the County Commissioners the Home Depot request should be approved. Residents again generated busloads of unhappy residents to attend the Commissioner's hearing, and the result was a slam dunk vote against the Atlanta company.

What you can do: Area activists credit the public opposition to this plan, along with funding provided by the Bonita Bay Community Association, as the reason for Home Depot's rejection. Neighbors hired a land use attorney and other consultants to rip the proposal apart. Bonita Springs just voted to incorporate and become a city, and residents were ready to take up the battle against Home Depot if the case spilled over into the new city's jurisdiction. But the County Commissioners nailed the door shut by keeping Home Depot in its box.










 
 
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