Thursday, August 19, 2010

Anti Giant Forces Sue to Block Supermarket...Again

Reported yesterday on the Cleveland Park Listserv:  A handful of neighbors filed a lawsuit to block the development of a new supermarket and residential/commercial complex at Wisconsin Avenue and Newark Street.  Despite the fact than an overwhelming majority of neighbors --93 percent in a Listserv poll-- support the new supermarket project, a few neighbors think that their vision of Cleveland Park should prevail.  

A determined few have been trying to block the new Giant for ten years.  Their strategy of block and delay has been, unfortunately, successful.  Hopefully, this is their last stand and they will fail.

For some people, that vision includes the idea that a neighborhood like Cleveland Park --what they think of as a "village" in Washington, DC-- shouldn't even have a modern, well-stocked supermarket.  They worry that a large supermarket will attract shoppers on their way home from work.  Personally, I've never understood the fear of having people who live outside of one neighborhood shop in another.  It's actually a good thing when dollars are brought into a community. Other supermarket opponents insist that Cleveland Park can get along just fine with a small supermarket.  "Busy city dwellers do not need to spend an hour doing the family shopping, walking miles around inside huge markets," wrote one person on the Cleveland Park Listserv who opposes the concept of a larger supermarket.  Never mind that other people want a better supermarket; the opponents think they know what's best.

But, okay, I get it.  Some people want a return to the 50's or 60's or some era perhaps that only existed on television.  Forget that a huge majority of neighbors really, really want a modern supermarket with lots of fruits and veggies and meats and other things.  No, no matter what the community desires, this group of less than a dozen people will do whatever it can to thwart the community's desires.  

Here is the announcement from the Cleveland Park Listserv about the lawsuit:

The Hogan Lovells law firm filed an appeal to the DC Court of Appeals earlier this month on behalf of WNNC, Wisconsin-Newark Neighborhood Coalition,and the Idaho Avenue folks.  The appeal says nothing new.  Very briefly: they argue that the Zoning Commission does not have jurisdiction in this case; the PUD is inconsistent with the Comprehensive Plan; and Idaho Avenue is not wide enough for trucks. All of these issues have been covered before.  Giant's attorneys will file their brief in the next couple of weeks; then the petitioners have about a month to respond; and then a date will be set for a hearing, which will probably be several months away.

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