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2002-05-01
San Francisco, CA. After Six Years of Trying, Will Home Depot Be Accepted?

Like a suitor who has been repeatedly rejected, Home Depot's orange has been squeezed badly in the City by the Bay. After six years of trying to persuade some neighborhood to take them, Home Depot may finally get a San Francisco store. On April 29th. the Board of Supervisors voted not to override Mayor Willie Brown's veto of anti-big box legislation. With the Mayor's veto left standing, Home Depot can continue to press for its store. The company has been trying to locate a 140,000 s.f. store on Bayshore Boulevard in Bayview. Board of Supervisors President Tom Ammiano has frustrated those efforts more than once. This go-round, Ammiano got his Board to vote 7-4 in March for a measure that would require all big box stores to get a conditional use permit from the city's Planning Commission. Requiring a conditional permit would have forced developers to work more cooperatively with local residents, and given the city more control over the site plan. But Ammiano needed eight votes to override the Mayor, and it appeared he didn't have the numbers. Home Depot selected Bayview, a community with one out of five workers unemployed. One local resident, who is a carpenter, told the San Francisco Chronicle: "Home Depot won't make a bit of difference to me. Any quality carpenter wouldn't go to Home Depot anyways." Rick Carp, whose family has owned a local hardware store since 1959, said "One of the reasons that San Francisco is a city of neighborhoods is that people shop locally." Karp's store in nearby Colma lost 20% of its business when Home Depot opened.Even though Home Depot is now opening smaller "urban" stores in Brooklyn, New York, a company official said they couldn't make ends meet with a smaller store in San Francisco.

What you can do: Home Depot is not yet a done deal in Bayview, but the veto of Ammiano's legislation brings the store one step closer to sprawling San Francisco. For more background on Mayor Brown's hate-then-love relationship with Home Depot, and his former staff who lobbied on Home Depot's payroll, search this Newsflash database by "San Francisco."










 
 
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