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Publication Date: Friday, July 13, 2001

Once again, Home Depot plan calls for a decision Once again, Home Depot plan calls for a decision (July 13, 2001)

After months of behind-the-scenes re-examining of their proposal to build a big-box retail store on El Camino Real at Highway 85, Home Depot is once again on the screen with its latest plan for the store. The city council this week set July 31 for a public hearing on the zoning change that would be necessary to allow Home Depot to proceed on this site.

Home Depot's saga is now stretching into years in Mountain View, with design changes, rallying of supporters for the project, and vocal opponents to allowing the use at a Mountain View "gateway" property adjacent to a major apartment development and close to single-family residential as well.

There are some observers anxious to see a speedy resolution to the Home Depot question, although thoroughness on the city's part should be the major priority. The current boarded-up Emporium store, with its parking lot used for car inventory storage, is hardly a neighborhood enhancement.

But once a large-scale development such as Home Depot is built, it's there practically forever, so our elected officials are right to take the time and satisfy their questions and conditions, and to listen to area residents' concerns.

Some are disappointed to find the latest Home Depot plan nothing new, lacking in the housing component and two-story design envisioned last January, and not adequately addressing neighborhood impact issues. Some council members believe the issue is deeper than building design: is this the right location for the hardware and home improvement giant at all?

And how much weight should be given to the experience of residents of other cities with Home Depot's operations, the noise and truck traffic generated? What other valid, alternative uses would there be for this site that would find more widespread enthusiasm as real community benefits?

The July 31 public hearing is another opportunity for citizens to become educated about the Home Depot proposal and how it would affect them. Rather than jump on a pro or con bandwagon, citizens should take the time to learn about the latest plan. Request a copy of Home Depot's plans from the City Clerk's office at City Hall, and look them over. Consider how a new Home Depot would affect how and where you shop, and your own traffic experiences. Let your mayor and city council members know what you would like to see in this part of the city.

Tedious as hearings, study sessions and reviews may be, the underlying principle is what's important: for the city council to emerge with a true and accurate picture of what residents want for their city.


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