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Trader Joe's War II

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Location, location, location.

The Battle of Trader Joe’s is back on, with foes of the trendy grocer’s choice of Hobbs and Friendly as its home digging in for a long, mean war.

The irony of all this has been pointed out before.

Many areas in this city that would kill for a Trader Joe’s.

And not just east Greensboro. New Garden. Brassfield. Even West Wendover.

But the rich stand to get richer.

The Friendly Center area is a popular destination for local shopping that is surrounded by the types of demographics that retailers adore. It’s almost like the psychology of not wanting to be the first person at a party. Retail likes a crowded room.

With the Zoning Commission saying a strong yes (8-1) to the proposed store as well as a new drug store, the foes now say they’ll pursue the protest petition option.

A protest petition gives adjoining property owners additional leverage against a proposed rezoning.

If enough signatures of the rezoning’s neighbor are gathered, a super-majority (seven of nine council members) would need to approve the rezoning. (It’s still a fair and constructive process that levels that playing field in disputes over development.)

The News & Record editorial board favored a previous attempt to place a new shopping center and a Trader Joe’s in the Hobbs-Friendly area in 2012.

But it was not an easy call.

This one isn’t, either.

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