For approximately 30 residents of Hinesburg, Hannaford Supermarket looks like public enemy No. 1. The anti-development protesters gathered along curbsides last Sunday, near the site where the company plans to build its "green" supermarket.
Hannaford Brothers Corp. said it would like to build a grocery outlet near the intersection of Commerce Street and Mechanicsville Road. The project would bring jobs and lower-cost food and beverages to the area, a Hannaford news release said.
Hannaford is seeking an Act 250 permit. It still faces more scrutiny from Hinesburg's Development Review Board.
"This will be a good thing for the local economy. There will be new jobs created," Hannaford spokesman Matthew Paul said.
Town protesters last weekend did not agree.
"This is just too big and will create too much traffic congestion in town," said Darryl Suppan. "This is a giant supermarket; it's just not something for little Hinesburg."
The new supermarket is perceived, by some, as a direct threat to Lantman's Best Yet Market, a popular local grocer. The planned Hannaford would be twice the size of Lantman's.
"Well, Idon't agree with Sunday's protesters," said May Barton, of Hinesburg. "Competition is what built America. I think a new supermarket is good for our community. Why would we stop a new business, new jobs, in town during the worst recession since the 1930s?"
Hannaford said its 36,784-square-foot supermarket and parking lot would occupy 4.5-acres near the intersection of Commerce Street and Mechanicsville Road.
Approximately 30 full-time jobs - about the same number of those who publically opposed the project - will be created if the supermarket is ultimately built.