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Store passed, ordinance tabled

The Cumberland County Board of Supervisors voted to approve the rezoning request and conditional use permit for the Dollar General Store at the intersection of Cumberland Road and Holman Mill Road. The board also voted to table an ordinance for solar facilities until November in the wake of interest from potential companies and individuals about operating facilities in the county.

Kevin Ingle

Board Chairman Kevin Ingle said no citizens signed up for the public hearings on the rezoning and conditional use permits for the store or solar facilities. He did say a representative of Par 5 Development Group, the applicant for the Dollar General store, Rex Young with Cooperative Solar, LLC and Fielding Dauthat with LeClairRyan, the law firm representing the solar facility company, spoke during the hearings. Rather than being placed under the three-minute standard for speaking during public hearings, Ingle said the representatives were allowed to give presentations and speak on behalf of the companies.

The Dollar General store, proposed to be built by Par 5 Development Group, is set to be located in the area of Tipton’s Midway grocery store, at the intersection of Cumberland Road and Holman Mill Road. Gary Singh currently owns the former Tipton’s Midway store. The store is set to reopen as Raman Midway Market in October.

Par 5 Development Group requested to rezone a 2-and-a-half acre parcel of land from Agricultural-2 to Business-2. The conditional use permit requested to allow the store to have a wall sign of approximately 150 square feet, exceeding the maximum signage allowed by the county’s Zoning Ordinance of 60 square feet. A pylon sign, a sign attached to a pole, would be located outside the front of the store.

Ingle said the rezoning request was passed unanimously. The conditional use permit for the Dollar General store sign was passed with District Two Supervisor Lloyd Banks, Ingle, District Four Supervisor David Meinhard and District Five Supervisor Parker Wheeler voting in favor. District One Supervisor William “Bill” Osl voted in opposition.

“Votes were taken on the rezoning and conditional use permit for Dollar General,” Ingle said in an email. “Both passed.”

Osl said in a phone interview Monday that his concern lay with the appearance of the store having the wall sign at the front and side of the store, and the pylon sign outside the store.

“People in Cumberland County are going to know where it is,” Osl said. “The idea that they need oversized signage seemed like overkill to me, and I’d just preferred to have something like a monument-style that we have, for example, at the courthouse, as opposed to a pylon-style sign.”

A monument-style sign is a sign that stays on the ground.

A conditional use permit for a Dollar General at a site at Holman Mill Road close to the intersection was discussed by members of the board late last year, but was denied by the board due to concerns about the site’s impact on nearby residents.

Ingle said the solar panel ordinance was tabled to a workshop set to take place Nov. 1.

Rex Young, an in-house attorney for Cooperative Solar, LLC, based in Durham, North Carolina said in a phone interview the company is in the process of applying for a conditional use permit to build a two-megawatt solar facility in Cumberland.

Young said the facility would act as a community solar facility program, meaning that residents or industrial company could potentially sign up to be powered through the solar facility.

Young said whether the facility is for residential or industrial use is determined by the utility company that would distribute the solar electricity to the area.

Young said the facility could give people another choice in how they receive their electricity.

“You flip the lightswitch on and you really don’t know where that’s coming from,” Young said. “This is one way that we’re trying to help, the utility is trying to help change that and make it a little more available.”

Young said a two-megawatt facility could span between 15-20 acres.

He said the residents or industries that could use the facility, including the proposed Green Ridge landfill, has not been determined as participants would have to sign up in order to participate.

Young said the company approached Cumberland about potentially installing the facility, but said the county did not have an ordinance for solar facilities.

Concerning actions taken during closed session, Ingle said, “No action was taken after closed session other than a confirmation vote.”