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Store appeal revived
Request for rezoning again before panel

Thursday, July 3, 2014

By BEN R. WILLIAMS - Bulletin Staff Writer

PAR 3 LLC will return to the Henry County Planning Commission next week to revive its effort to rezone property across from Sanville Elementary School for a proposed Dollar General store.

The planning commission will hold a public hearing on the proposal at 6 p.m. Wednesday.

This will be the second time that PAR 3 has gone before the planning commission to request that the property at 3874 Stones Dairy Road be rezoned so a Dollar General can be built there.

According to Henry County Director of Planning, Zoning and Inspections Lee Clark, PAR 3 has “decided to start the process over again and apply for a different zoning classification that would allow them the right to build the size building that they want to build. ... Currently, the property is still zoned as neighborhood commercial B-2, which allows for certain low-intensity commercial uses.”

PAR 3 now is asking that the property be rezoned as general commercial B-1, Clark said, which does not restrict the size of the building and also allows for more intense uses than are allowed under B-2, such as used car dealerships and auto repair garages.

However, he said, PAR 3’s proposal for the Dollar General is exactly the same as its earlier request, with no change in the size of the proposed 9,100-square-foot building.

Clark said that he has some concerns about rezoning the property as general commercial B-1. For example, he said, if the proposed Dollar General were built on the site and then later closed or moved to a different site, a high-intensity commercial business could build there.

Also, Clark said, “changing the zoning there to general commercial B-1 would, in my opinion, be precedent-setting and make it much more difficult — if not impossible — for the board (of supervisors) to justify not rezoning other properties in the general vicinity to the same zoning if it were requested.”

At previous public hearings, Clark said, PAR 3 has argued that the proposed store would increase sales taxes for the county, a claim that Clark disputes.

“Sales tax in Henry County is the same whether you make that purchase in Sanville or whether you make that purchase in Collinsville,” Clark said. “The only time that you increase the sales tax revenue to the county is if you are actually drawing people in from outside the community to spend their money here.”

It seems unlikely, Clark said, that someone from outside Henry County would travel to Sanville to shop at a store in that community rather than visiting a store in their own community.

Last May, PAR 3 applied to have the property rezoned as neighborhood commercial B-2, which allows for light commercial businesses of 2,000 square feet or less. PAR 3 also applied for a special use permit to allow the construction of a 9,100-square-foot building on the site.

The planning commission endorsed the rezoning and the Henry County Board of Supervisors approved it. However, the Henry County Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) denied the special use permit.

At the BZA hearing, a spokesman for PAR 3 said that Dollar General does not have a building model that would fit into a 2,000-square-foot space, so PAR 3 could not build a store on the site without the special use permit.

At the previous hearings, the planning commission, the board of supervisors and the BZA all expressed concern that a 9,100-square-foot building was not in the spirit of the neighborhood commercial B-2 zoning classification.


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