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2001-09-08
Parma, OH. Home Depot Vs. Rep. Kucinich

U.S. Congressman Dennis Kucinich, the former Mayor of Cleveland, has taken on Home Depot. The Congressman from Ohio told the Parma, Ohio City Council that it should move forward with plans to take 37 acres of land slated for a Home Depot by eminent domain. "If Parma waits," Kucinich was quoted by the Cleveland Plain Dealer," it may be too late." The Congressman warned this week that the state's Environmental Protection Agency may allow developer Bart Wolstein a permit to destroy wetlands on the site. The Congressman told city officials he would help them get federal funds to buy the land, and offered to join a court case on behalf of local citizens who are being sued by the developer for allegedly polluting streams near the site. Representative Kucinich said that Wolstein's charges were false, and that the developer's lawsuit was designed simply to intimidate residents who have fought plans for a 94,000 s.f. Home Depot and an 80,000 Giant Eagle grocery store on the site. More than 3.5 acres of wetlands would be lost to construction, and two streams would be disrupted. The developer told the newspaper they cannot understand why local residents are still opposed to the huge project.

What you can do: A federal jury last week fined the same developer, Bart Wolstein, and another partner, $9 million in damages for misleading a tenant in another mall project. Wolstein's firm, Developers Diversified Realty, was a defendant in the lawsuit. DDR is a publicly traded real estate trust. The Jury awarded Regal Cinemas $5 million in compensatory damages, $4 million in punitive damages. Local residentw says that Bart Wolstein now lives in New Zealand, far away from the wetlands local residents are trying to protect.










 
 
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