“We didn’t anticipate a negative vote.I really thought they would grant it.” That’s what the lawyer for the developer told reporters after Home Depot was defeated on April 22nd in this South Shore community. After more than a year of citizen organizing, Home Depot was hammered by the residents of Cedarville (pop 2,600) a community in Plymouth, MA. The Zoning Board of Appeals voted 2-2 to reject Home Depot’s request for a special permit. In February, the town’s Planning Board had voted 4-1 against the 135,000 s.f. store. Home Depot had agreed to spend $2.5 million to widen roads and add turning lanes, add sidewalks and traffic lights–all to no avail. “I felt that we met all the criteria,” the developer’s lawyer lamented. “To have a denial at this stage is disappointing, to say the least.” Home Depot had helped to finance a “citizen’s” group to promote the store, but a massive community organizing job against Home Depot helped rob the company of the 4 votes it needed to push into Cedarville. “We were always hopeful,” resident Bob Gogan told the Patriot Ledger, “because we felt that once we got our story out that we could convince them.” The Home Depot, the size of 3 football fields, would have generated 8,000 cars a day on weekends, and consumed 26 acres of land. The attorney for the citizen’s group, Theodore Bosen, did not mince words. “They are suckering the elderly people of this town on fixed incomes into believing that they’re going to get a tax break.” During Planning Board hearings, one member of the board said: “Home Depot is a quick fix that fixes nothing.” The Cedarville project was proposed shortly after Home Depot pulled out of a project in Yarmouth, MA on Cape Cod. The Cedarville defeat is the second loss for Home Depot in the Cape Cod region. The company was also rejected last week in Reading, MA. As the newspaper article stated: “Tiny Cedarville has defeated the big box behemoth”. A very significant victory for the Citizens for the Preservation of Cedarville.
For further information about the anti Home Depot effort in Plymouth, MA, contact Rob Gogan at his email address: [email protected]