June 16, 2013

Letter: What is next?

— I am outraged and very disappointed in the Whitfield County commissioners who voted 4-0 to change the zoning from C-1/Neighborhood Commercial to C-2/General Commercial to allow construction of a Dollar General store on the corner of Dug Gap Road and Dug Gap Mountain Road.

These commissioners were elected by the residents in hopes that they would govern in the best interests of said residents. But in this case they ignored not only the Planning Commission’s recommendation that the motion be denied, but also the outpouring of residents against this measure at the recent open Planning Commission meeting.

Yes, the property currently is an eyesore; obviously the owner has not been either encouraged or penalized by the county for the run-down condition of this property, nor has he taken cue from the other adjacent residential and business properties (BP/Mapco, Evans Surveyors, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Grace Presbyterian) that take pride in the appearance and upkeep of their properties.

So what commercial enterprise is next to be built on Dug Gap, as this will probably lead to more businesses? And what happens when semi-trailer truck deliveries are allowed on Dug Gap? (The residents of the area known as Hickory Hills have recently been the victims of two semi-trailer trucks stuck in the subdivision, despite signs warning “No Through Street” and a sign before crossing the bridge advising no truck traffic.) What impact will the increased truck deliveries and vehicle traffic have on the walkers and baby strollers frequenting the sidewalk on Dug Gap? And on the school bus routes and Dug Gap Elementary School? How will the oil and other waste products that have been dumped at this site be handled? Is there a plan for inspection or soil samples to be taken and clean-up?

I seriously doubt that a Dollar General store would be built in the neighborhoods where the commissioners reside. I think they failed to consider all the consequences of rezoning and allowing this commercial enterprise. I think they were swayed by the landowner and not by the general citizenry of this residential neighborhood.

I guess the next county election will have different results. I write this in the hope that others opposed to this rezoning will voice their opposition.

Marianna Arms