Home Depot's new garden center concept

In Cape Cod The Barnstable Patriot reports that, "Home Depot at 65 Independence Drive, the former Bradlees store, will be selling Christmas trees come this November and assorted flora this spring as it debuts its outside seasonal garden shop, providing all permits are obtained on schedule. The Cape Cod Commission has already approved the plan." According to the article, "as contemplated, a small version of the garden center will open from Nov. 15 to Dec. 31 for the sale of Christmas trees and reopen from March 20 to Sept. 20 for the sale of seasonal flowers, plants and implements." When asked by the council why Home Depot is going with the temporary structure, "Tom Gallagher, the company's real estate manager, cited two major reasons: Capital return on investment and less site disturbance. He said the seasonal model will be a big boost to the store's sales performance."

This happens time and again. People say, "garden centers should just have to deal with the box stores on their own terms". The problem is Home Depot and these other large enterprises use their size to intimidate cities, and municipalities into changing the rules. My local Placerville Home Depot always extends their garden center into the parking lot during the busy season. They we're told that to get the permit to build they had to supply X amount of parking. Now they expand the center into the parking lot later? The parking is not needed during the busy spring season?

What a sweet deal for Depot. To open provide X amount of parking for the size of the building. Later, go before the council and ask for as special use permit. Then expand your operation into the parking lot that was suppose to be used for parking. When the season is over, take the tent down. It's not so much the tent, or temporary aspect that get's under your skin. It's that the place would have never been built in the first place, if they had said they would be using the parking for sales!  I think this idea is brilliant on Home Depot's part and is going to spread, likely to a Depot near you.