• Ongoing coronavirus / COVID-19 discussion: how is the pandemic affecting your community, workplace, and wellness? 🦠

    Working from home? So are we. Come join us! Cyburbia is a friendly big tent, where we share our experiences and thoughts about urban planning practice, planning adjacent topics, and whatever else comes to mind. No ads, no spam, no social distancing.

Home Depot ballot box planning

Tom Collins


I wonder if this will be the new antidote to attempts by planners to regulate growth:

"Home Depot has sought permission to build a store at the site for six years. It says the regular city review process has become so polarized that company officials have taken the unusual step of going directly to the voters."

I've even heard that some consulting firms that work with big developers/big boxes have a "legal/ballot action kit" that is a follow-the steps type of process to get something directly to voters.

Or perhaps this is a natural market response to overregulation by the city. Clearly HomeDepot knows that there is consumer demand for their store, or they wouldn't be trying so hard to place the store.

PS - Thanks to Planetizen for trying out this discussion forum thing with Cyburbia. I hope other readers use it.

Tom Collins
I found that to be unusual. If a big box developer were to skip the regulatory process and head straight to the voters, he would fail miserably. Most of the time, the city (i.e. the City Council and powers that be) has all but bent over backwards for a big box to come in and destroy the city's fragile character while the neighborhood activists or fanatics (depending on who you ask), et. al., fight to preserve it, regardless of the perceived or actual need for the store.
We're having a hell of a time with Lowe's right now. I really really wish we could put it up to a vote and just get it over with. For the last year it has been this horribly long and drawn out process and we haven't even gotten to conceptual review yet. And the powers that be don't even want to deal with this until after November elections, so maybe putting it up for a referendum wouldn't be such a bad idea. Usually I have no patience for NIMBY's, but in this case, the loading docks for the store are about 70 feet from these people's back yards, and they're planning on 15 - 30 big trucks a day. I guess a referendum would be the easy way out.