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Monday, April 03, 2006

399 Days In Sunland-Tujunga

by Joe B.

Mayor Sam has invited me to contribute to Mayor Sams’ Sister City.

He is either setting me up as some sort of pratfall in dead pol humor, or he wants to see how the other half lives.

Either way, I will assume that my presence here could be short–lived, so I will quickly get to the meat of the matter that makes up my world.

For the last 399 days of my life, I have been fighting the opening of a Home Depot Store in my community of Sunland-Tujunga. If you don’t know where S-T is, don’t worry, we don’t want you to know. Let’s just say that we have purposely lined our streets with auto repair shops and 99 cent stores, so that if you happen to drive through here, you will just keep moving.

We are also the community that came up with the Anti-Mansionization Ordinance, the one that limits the size of a home to the relative size of the property, you know, the ordinance that all other communities are scrambling to enact.

Back to the last 399 days of my life…

They have been really busy….

Note to aspiring activists:

For your first project, avoid taking on the largest home improvement store in the world !

They have a lot more money than you will ever see, and their army of lawyers alone could probably bring about World Peace, if that is what lawyers did, but of course they don’t ( who would they bill for that?).

No, the last 399, (401 by the time you read this) days of my life, have been spent grappling with what it takes, for a community like mine, to get it through the heads of Home Depot, that they are not wanted here, to convince them of the negative impacts they will bring to S-T. At the same time, our group, the NHDC (No Home Depot Campaign) has had to take a crash course in the rules, codes, etiquette, politics, and bizarre language of Los Angeles City Planning. It is a journey that no one should be made to take, but if you ever want to call your house a home, and your town your own, then break out the machete, and follow me into the jungle.

Begin your adventure at http://www.no2homedepot.com

I will also be writing about other issues that face our city, from a perspective
that may surprise you.

I serve at the pleasure of the good Mayor.



Anonymous Anonymous said:

Hey, Joe B., get over yourself. You are not the be all and end all of activists. Lots of us have been there -- we continue to keep our heads down and focused on the prize. Nothing like a win!

April 03, 2006 10:01 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

It looks like he has his eye on the prize!
Keep up the good work!

April 03, 2006 4:02 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Joe: Thanks for the update and the link to your website. The chronogical listing of your group's activities & related news is pretty awesome.

April 03, 2006 9:48 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Hey JB, way to go. Thanks for all your help in our beautiful town. No Home Deopt here to ruin it.

April 04, 2006 6:49 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

There is no personal agenda for those who are working on the Sunland-Tujunga "No Home Depot Campaign" other than for the good of our community. The persons involved have spent a lot of their personal time and money in order to fight that giant who will ruin our small businesses and community enviroment. That critical statment made to Joe was not fair or constructive.

April 04, 2006 10:52 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Can we at least have a Lowes in there? I'm tired of driving into Glendale to get home improvement supplies and hardware. Do It Center just doesn't cut it sometimes.

April 04, 2006 3:51 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Joe and the others work very hard to keep Home Depot out of our town. And it's not over yet. All those volunteers in the NHDC aren't giving up! That commercial site could be used for a lot better purpose than a gigantic hardware store. If you really need to shop at Home Depot, go to San Fernando, it's only 7 miles away.

April 04, 2006 7:39 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

don't you ever think that a Home Depot might actually clean the town up a bit? I mean, what other retailer would really want to build there? You should welcome them with open arms.

April 04, 2006 7:46 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Down with Home Depot, we want a Home Deport!

April 04, 2006 7:48 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Sunland needs a Home Depot! Bring it on, it will make the town better!

April 04, 2006 8:39 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

It is a very worthy fight. The residents of Sunland and Tujunga have seen changes for the good of the community in the past few years and need something better then Home Depot. Maybe Target or Kohls along with a Trader Joes.

April 05, 2006 9:18 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

A Home Depot in Sunland would cause considerable blight in our community. There are at least 10 different business that would be negatively impacted. If you feel you can't find what you need there, ask the owners. I am sure they would be more than accommodating to stock what the community wants.

April 07, 2006 6:45 AM  

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