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Home Depot is violating codes with expanded garden center in parking lot, city claims

Spring evenings host an orchestra of noises. Birds chirping, peepers peeping and, for residents of the McKenna’s Purchase condominiums, trucks beep-beep-beeping as they back up in the parking lot where the neighboring Home Depot store has started storing trees, shrubs and piles of loam.

Concord city officials this week sent the store a notice of violation for storing and displaying merchandise outside in a parking area, which is against city ordinances. The store has 14 days to comply by removing all outdoor displays and storage areas.

The Home Depot built its 114,447-square-foot store on D’Amante Drive in 1998. The plans approved by the city did not include the additional garden center that has been set up in a side parking lot, where dozens of trees and shrubs and shelving units of garden soil and loam are now housed.

Unless the store corrects the problem or appeals the notice within 14 days, the city could take the issue to court. It wouldn’t be the first time.

In 2006, the store and the city reached an agreement that allowed the city to inspect the facility quarterly after the store set up an almost 24,000-square-foot display in the parking lot.

“This is identical circumstances,” said Craig Walker, the city code inspector. “There’ll be a fast-track on this because we dealt with it before and received a dispositional order that had specific outlines of how Home Depot was supposed to operate.”

Representatives from the store told the zoning board then that the outdoor display doesn’t cause parking shortages and is needed to store merchandise that is trucked in during the day. Store safety rules ban stocking merchandise inside the store while customers are around, and an agreement with abutters bans trucks from coming in at night. That means trucks deliver the plants and other goods during the day, to be stored outside until closing at 10 p.m.

Residents at McKenna’s Purchase care more about what happens after 10 p.m., though, said Unit Owners Association President Les Hall.

“Essentially they are supposed to be quiet during nighttime hours. They aren’t. We can hear forklifts, phones, trucks backing up, making that noise they make,” he said.

“It’s spring and in the spring after a long cold winter, people want to open their windows and enjoy some fresh air, but it’s too loud. Their choice is either sleeping or enjoying nice fresh air.”

The notice of violation didn’t cite the noise because it hasn’t been found to exceed regulations, Walker said.

Stephen Holmes, spokesman for the Home Depot corporate headquarters in Atlanta, said yesterday he hadn’t seen the complaint, “but we’ll certainly review it and work with the city to resolve it.”

(Sarah Palermo can be reached at 369-3322 or spalermo@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @SPalermoNews.)

Legacy Comments16

This is just terrible. How dare they use their parking lot to store trees, shrubs and loam? I hope Concord sets an example with this and fines HD at least $5.00 and 15 minutes of community service.

Funny how Sams Club is doing the same thing and not a peep

Last time I checked McKenna’s Purchase condominiums are/were never in what I would call a quiet, peaceful country setting. So what do you honestly expect. So here is my, too bad. This is akin to those people that bought houses that were built abutting a Dunbarton shooting range that had been in operation for the prior 40 years Then had the nerve to complain.

Whats that make? Twice this week we found common ground?

I am not the biased liberal I seem, there is something that used to be called common ground. I am only anti biase, to me compromize is not a four letter word.

So when are they suppose to stock the shelves if they cannot stock them during the day?

Okay Sail, let's put a pig farm on one side of your property and a chemical plant on the other side and remove all environmental regulations. Enjoy that glass of water from your well while you take a nice deep breath of fresh air - Allan Herschlag

No...lets not. Lets put a condo next to zoned commercial property and make a bunch of rules that say when you can stock the store. Add to that the nimbys that want to live in the city, but want complete silence after 10. Stick with the subject matter.

When did "zoned commercial" translate to "do whatever you like with it"? What part of this sentence are unclear? "The plans approved by the city did not include the additional garden center that has been set up in a side parking lot, where dozens of trees and shrubs and shelving units of garden soil and loam are now housed."

According to the article, the store and the city came to an agreement in 2006 for the outside storage in the parking lot. Trucks come during the day, but cannot stock. City inspects it quarterly. Also stated no noise ordinace had been issued because the noise did not exceed any regulations. Basically the store is boxed in. Again, when is the store suppose to stock the shelves?

Maybe HD can make some sort of deal with the City of Concord, and store the trees and shrubs on the expanded downtown sidewalks instead of their own parking lot.

The city of concord is anti business. Does anyone really care about storing shrubs and loam in the parking lot except the busy body building inspector. The Home Depot should close, layoff all its employees and move. I bet Pembroke would love to have the tax revenue.

another example of the democrats war on business

Correct, this is a prime example of government power run amok. Big government out of control over something like this. Surely some elitist blew the whistle on something truly unimportant.

How much would this cost the City of Concord if HD decided to drag this through the courts?lol

What took so long. ...... blah blah blah(insert democrat here) blah blah. It is nice to be able to count on something in life that is constant.

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