June 11, 2013

Dollar General gets go-ahead to build

Rachel Brown

— A Dollar General store planned for Dug Gap Road got the go-ahead Monday night as the Whitfield County Board of Commissioners agreed to rezone the property to allow construction.

In a 4-0 vote, commissioners approved the request with some provisions: the building can’t be more than 9,200 square feet, at least three sides must be brick, and if anything else goes there, it must fall within some more stringent requirements for commercial buildings that were in place before commissioners approved the more lenient classification.

Commissioner Lynn Laughter said she struggled with the decision on the property at 1902 Dug Gap Road, especially since the county’s planning commission recommended that the board deny the request. The property in its current state is just “a hodgepodge of buildings that look awful,” she said. Laughter said the land creates stormwater drainage issues for surrounding areas, and Dollar General moving in will address that as well as the fact the spot is an eyesore.

“I honestly believe the property will look so much better with a Dollar General than it does now,” she said.

Phillip Croy, whose daughter lives adjacent to the property, said he’s concerned more about what the zoning designation means for the area’s future.

“It can lead to creeping commercialism,” he said.

In another zoning request, commissioners unanimously denied a petition to rezone about an acre on Antioch Road from residential rural to general commercial. At a public hearing in May, the property owner said he had operated a vehicle repair shop for 10 years and wanted to expand it.

Neighbor Teresa Darnell said after the meeting she believed the building would have created a disturbance.

“I am so glad (for the decision),” she said.

Commissioners also approved rezoning about 104 acres near Christian Heritage School on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard that will allow a new high school building to be built there.

Chairman Mike Babb, who votes only to break ties, was absent from the meeting.