Home Depot Gets Spanked in Thousand Oaks
Proposed HD in Thousand Oaks Must Undergo EIR!
Good News today for our friends in Thousand Oaks, who are facing an almost identical situation to the one we are dealing with in Sunland-Tujunga. Their City Council has ruled that the proposed HD store in a former K-Mart, must undergo an Environmental Impact Review!
The complete story is below, and please note the quote from Mark Sellers, the Do-It-Center attorney, who is also advising us in our case.
Gee, we wonder how long it will take before Home Depot labels all the residents of Thousand Oaks as racists?
From the Ventura Star:
Officials decide to put the project through tough environmental review
A proposed Home Depot, slated for the old Kmart site in Thousand Oaks, will undergo a more stringent review of potential environmental impacts.
A public hearing on the planned home improvement store had been slated for this month. But the new review process, which will culminate with an environmental impact report, will likely begin in the fall.
City and Home Depot officials decided last week to have the project undergo the EIR process.
Initially, the city circulated a planning document called a mitigated negative declaration, which suggests ways to reduce a project's potentially significant impacts.
Mark Towne, the city's deputy director of Community Development, said residents and organizations submitted their own studies on how the proposed 96,973-square-foot store and garden center would affect traffic and air quality.
And in the past month, an anonymous mailer with the headline "we deserve the facts about the negative impacts a new Home Depot will have on our neighborhood" went out to residents. It asks them to write City Hall demanding a full EIR.
Under California's Environmental Quality Act, an environmental impact study must be conducted if there is substantial evidence supporting an argument that a project might have significant impact on the environment, Towne said.
"We're not weighing or evaluating what's been submitted but what's been submitted does support a fair argument that an environmental impact report should be prepared," Towne said.
The proposed Home Depot, the city's second, would be smaller than the old Kmart store.
That, however, has not softened the calls of opponents, who fear overburdened streets and noise.
Mark Sellers, the former city attorney who now represents the Do It Center, a midsize home improvement store, said his client is concerned about a second "mega" home improvement store opening in the city. He said the project is inconsistent with the area because it is not a neighborhood shopping center.
Sellers doesn't think an EIR will alleviate people's concerns about the project.
"One of the main issues is whether the city will just accept it," he said. "I think we can get a lot nicer use on that corner instead of a regional store."
Towne said the first public hearings on the EIR will likely take place early next year.