Zoning change clears way for Dollar General in Silver Lake – InkFreeNews.com
By Dan Spalding
SILVER LAKE – Plans for a Dollar General in Silver Lake are suddenly back on track.
Silver Lake City Council, which earlier this year annexed the property to SR 15 and Dixie Drive to allow for the possible construction of a Dollar General Store on Wednesday, April 13, balked at a recommendation from the Planning Commission. zone that opposed the zoning of the property into commercial.
By a 2-1 vote, the city council approved the rezoning to commercial – a final step that will allow the company to build a proposed “market store”.
The land is currently owned by Silver Lake Wesleyan Church.
Church leaders and two of the three council members said they believe the store’s arrival will add convenience to residents and serve as an attraction for the town.
Council members Hugh Murfin and Nichole Taylor supported the change. Murfin said he was unsure of the location, but believes such a store will provide needed convenience to area residents.
Jean Weller voted against.
The proposed store would have an updated exterior design. The 9,500 square feet of floor space would include a sizable grocery section.
Much of the local opposition has come from two landlords who live along Dixie Drive who are worried about increased traffic.
Carolyn Montel and Steven Behny both argue that the land would be better used for housing.
Montel said she’s not opposed to Dollar General, but doesn’t think the land should be used for commercial purposes.
The current plan does not include access to the store from SR 15. Instead, customers will enter through Dixie Drive.
Entering Dixie, she predicted, would be “a disaster”.
They also heard from Dan Richard, director of the Area Plan Commission, who recently voted 7 to 1 against rezoning the Silver Lake property to commercial.
Richard said the commission did not believe a store would be compatible with adjacent properties.
Last year the planning commission recommended against rezoning the land outside the city limits, but the proposal was withdrawn before county commissioners could make a final decision.
Following annexation, however, the issue was reignited, with the city controlling the final decision.
Richard pointed out that none of the circumstances had changed since the first request and that the planning commission had been consistent in two votes on the matter.
But ultimately, Richard conceded, “The buck stops here with you.”
Cities rarely reject planning commission rezoning recommendations. Richard, before the vote, reminded the city council that the planning commission is made up of professionals who bring different perspectives to the process.
Wednesday’s meeting also marked the first time the developer confirmed what had become common knowledge – that Dollar General was the company reviewing the lot.
Andrew Rossell, an engineer at AR Engineering, also detailed changes to the site plan on Wednesday in a bid to appease neighbors. Among the changes, the building would be located further north and a screen would be added along Dixie Drive to help obscure the view.
Opponents said the company should seek land elsewhere in the city. Rossell countered by saying they’ve looked at many sites over the years and none were found to be suitable.
The final vote came without any reaction and resulted in a year of interest in the land by Dollar General.
Someone sought to clarify and Murfin said the issue was resolved.
“I still love you, but I don’t like your vote,” Behny said.