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Permit denial recommended

Members of the Cumberland County Planning Commission voted unanimously to recommend denial of a permit for a Dollar General store during its Monday meeting.

The 5-0 vote took place following a public hearing in which one person spoke and for which one person wrote an email to the commission, Planning and Zoning Director Sara Carter said. Both members of the public opposed the opening of the Dollar General store.

The public hearing addressed a rezoning application that would allow a Dollar General retail store to operate on property located on Route 45, a few parcels south of Holman Mill Road, according to the meeting board packet.

The application requested a rezoning from A-2 Agricultural General to B-2 Limited Business. Residential properties surround the rezoning site, according to the board packet.

Applicants Keara Hayes and Jody Bland, of Par 5 Development Group, LLC, based in North Carolina, cited in the application form that the rezoning request, if granted, would enable the store to be built in the area.

“In this area of the county, there is no available site currently zoned B-2,” Hayes and Bland cited in the application. “This site is being proposed to serve the citizens in the general area where no retail stores exist.”

Dollar General is a retail discount store chain that has more than 12,500 stores in the U.S. that sell food, toiletry items, apparel, houseware and other items.

In an email message provided by Carter, Laura Moss, of Cumberland, cited concerns concerning the proposed store’s proximity to residential properties and traffic.

Moss said trash blowing from the former Tipton’s Midway gas station onto her property had been an issue and requested trash receptacles, a chain link fence and cypress trees around the store property to prevent trash from entering the surrounding residential properties and to give residents privacy.

She also noted traffic on Route 45 as a concern.

“This is a dangerous area with cars constantly turning onto Holman Mill Road or exiting onto Route 45,” Moss said. “It is also an area where people pass other slow-moving vehicles, and there are many school bus stops.”

She also expressed concern about the proposed store’s close proximity to nearby residential properties.

“This seems like an odd area to place a store amongst houses,” Moss said. “Surely there are other properties which could be considered.”

In a summary of the rezoning request found in the board packet, Carter said that while the business could generally be beneficial for the county, the location posed concerns.

“While the use would be welcome in the general area, the location is not in a growth area and is very close to adjacent residential properties,” Carter cited in the board packet. “Maintaining appropriate buffers and not having a negative effect on adjacent property owners in this small space will be very difficult to achieve. Also, placing a retail location outside of the growth area and not at an intersection may undermine the Comprehensive Plan in the future.”

The Cumberland County Board of Supervisors will address the proposed rezoning request during its board meeting Dec. 12.