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MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA-Warehouse retailer Home Depot was apologizing last week for allegedly misleading community members with a marketing mailer promoting its proposed new store here. The city’s chief planner Michael Percy is concerned that the mailer leads people to believe the property is already zoned for the proposed use, when in fact the site’s zoning was changed by the city council last January specifically to block big-box developments like Home Depot, Wal-Mart and Costco. City council members will formally begin discussing the proposed store next year.

The property is at Highway 85 and El Camino Real where the Emporium shopping center used to be. It is now known as the Americana Center. The two mailers asked residents to become involved in encouraging Home Depot’s presence in Mountain View, requesting that they send postcards of support as well as attend public hearings on the matter. A Home Depot spokeswoman said last week that the retailer had not meant to mislead residents, merely to show that the property had previously been used for commercial purposes.

Home Depot says its Mountain View location would reflect its surrounding community. In the two mailers, it promised a well landscaped, thoughtfully designed store that would mirror the town’s persona. Home Depot might still receive a special home-improvement center designation if it takes action to be a good neighbor, which would include addressing design and traffic around the store, Percy says.

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