EDITORIAL: Get involved with Home Depot

Home Depot, the gargantuan home improvement chain, is coming to Oak Harbor, which is a good thing for keeping people’s shopping dollars and sales tax dollars at home. While it can be seen as a threat to the small businesses that now fill our home improvement needs, that is not necessarily the case. Home Depot will keep more people shopping in town, which should translate into more customer visits to other competing stores. Competitive pricing and outstanding customer service will help independently owned businesses thrive despite the new, big boy on the block.

However, Home Depot will make a huge imprint on what is now a grassy 14-acre parcel along busy Highway 20, the back side of which fronts residential areas. Those properties need to be protected. Meanwhile, the highway will need major improvements to accommodate the traffic generated by Home Depot.

Nearby property owners and other citizens concerned about the project need to get involved in the planning and permitting process. Get on the city’s mailing list and attend public hearing and planning meetings. Bring good ideas on how to protect the neighborhoods and lessen the impact of the buildings and parking lot. Home Depot wants to move here, but it’s our town and it’s our responsibility to make sure our new neighbor is a good one.

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