For 12 Years Home Depot Has Sat Vacant

The Brattleboro Home Depot and its vast parking lot have been vacant for 12 years. On December 30, 2019 Home Depot spokeswoman Margaret Watters Smith told the Valley Post her company would like to find someone to rent the building and parking lot. Years ago, another Home Depot spokeswoman told the Valley Post the same thing.

On January 2, 2020, Brattleboro town manager Peter Elwell told the Valley Post he will not try to find a use for the building or parking lot.

"The private property owner, or someone to whom that owner might sell or lease the property, has rights to determine whether and how to occupy the space," Elwell said. "If they want to redevelop the space differently from how it was historically used, the town’s planning department staff would assist them in planning a redevelopment project that would comply with the town’s rules, including helping them seek actions by the town’s development review board, planning commission, and/or selectboard, as needed."

In Mashpee, Massachusetts a vacant big box store and its parking lot were converted to a neighborhood that looks like downtown Northampton, with wide sidewalks, parks, small stores downstairs, and apartments upstairs. In Texas, a vacant big box store was turned into a library. In Detroit in recent years, thousands of vacant buildings were turned back into farmland, parks, and forestland.

Planting trees is one of the best ways to stop climate change, which the world's leading scientists say is a major threat to earth's ability to support human life.

Eminent domain allows the government to take private property. Petitions and protests have persuaded politicians to change their minds countless times. Closing Vermont Yankee in 2014 is a local example. A national example is white women winning the right to vote on August 18, 1920. In 1965, women of color fought for and won the full right to vote in the USA.


Tear Home Depot down if it cannot be reused

Brattleboro officials should give Home Depot 6 months to re-tenant their building or it will be declared a public eyesore and demolished, with the bill being sent to Home Depot.

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