No Happy Trails for Whole Foods in Burbank
When a community rises up against the specter of a behemoth retailer in its midst, that store tends to be a purveyor of cheap toys, discount hardware, or 30-roll bundles of toilet paper, not Chilean sea bass, endive and fresh-baked scones.
But an unusual neighborhood just north of central Los Angeles is waging an equally uncommon battle against Whole Foods, the upscale grocery chain based in Texas.
...The community, known locally as the Rancho, is a smattering of horse properties just north of Griffith Park, in a historically working-class area of Burbank that has been gentrifying.
Behind these far-from-sprawling ranch homes — the average is about 1,200 square feet, or about 100 square meters — are horses in tiny stables whose owners are wont to saunter on horseback through the residential streets and onto the Griffith Park trails each day.
...the Rancho is one of the few places in the heavily urbanized Los Angeles area zoned for horses, which dozens of homeowners in the area board and ride. Along the quiet suburban blocks, it is not uncommon to see a hitching post in a front lawn, or a rider trotting through the drive-through lane at the Baskin-Robbins ice cream shop.
...This spring, developers proposed building a Whole Foods store on Main Street, the neighborhood's main thoroughfare, on a 177,000-square-foot lot that houses a television caption company. The proposal sparked the ire of some Rancho residents, who anticipated a surge in traffic that would, among other things, spook their beloved horses. - International Herald Tribune and the New York Times and City Beat
The company should try saving the character of our towns in our country. You know, it's not like there are no other Whole Foods around. There's a fairly new one in Glendale, and in Sherman Oaks...and others nearby.