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Solidarity in Sunland Tujunga


Shining on in the shade: No2HomeDepot's Abby Diamond with KNBC

Joseph Mailander elsewhereemail

It was supposed to be dialog; but it soon ironically became a City-funded networking party for about 300 Sunland Tujunga stakeholders who oppose Home Depot's effort to site a store on Foothill Boulevard.

The City Attorney's office, through its primary mediation specialist, Avis Ridley-Thomas, sent twenty-plus moderators and one mediation anchor, Barbara Goldfarb, to facilitate community pro-and-con dialog sessions.


Group 2: the nicest printing yet the most crossouts

It proved difficult to find more than a single proponent for the global retail giant at any single table, and most tables had none. The results were scribbled onto large pads and shared with the larger group after the dialog sessions. Because of the paucity of sentiment in favor of Home Depot, few benefits were offered on any table's list; some were even offered tongue-in-cheek to demonstrate how little pro sentiment there was.


Happy with the Do-It Center

Even before the day began, the City considered farming out the mediation process to one of two mediation entities, one backed by Loyola Law School and the other, The Center for Public Dispute Mediation. On the latter's advisory board is former Councilman Hal Bernson, who was also chair of the City's Planning and Land Use Management Committee.


I hear y'all...Zuma Dogg listens to local land-use experts


Many tables called for revisiting the EIR, a phase that the original permitting process slighted, very unusual for a project of this scope.

For all the community stakeholder's solidarity, Home Depot appears even less flexible. The company sent three representatives. It has since early last year maintained a premature Home Depot sign up on Foothill---an odd flaunting of signage under any circumstances, but especially when considering that this particular property's address is situated on a side street so as not to trigger various environmental impact inquiries.