Regional Planning Commission offer Dollar General improvements
By Christian Avard
Staff Writer | January 18,2013
Christian Avard / Staff Photo
Tom Kennedy of the Southern Windsor County Regional Planning Commission testifies Thursday on Dollar General Store site improvements.
CHESTER — Dollar General Store representatives rebuffed last-minute advice to improve its site plan for a 9,100-square-foot store in Chester.
Testimony wrapped up Thursday for a proposed Dollar General retail store on Main Street in Chester. The District Environmental Commission will decide whether to grant the Goodlettsville, Tenn., company a land use permit to begin construction.
Tom Kennedy, executive director of the Southern Windsor County Regional Planning Commission, recapped a meeting last month between himself, Dollar General and the Agency of Natural Resources to work out an alternative plan that would minimize the store’s footprint within the town center.
Kennedy suggested the Dollar General Store shift 90 degrees west. The current plan shows the store front facing south toward incoming traffic.
The proposed Dollar General Store is situated in a flood plain not far from the Williams River. According to Kennedy, the westerly direction of the store will improve flood protection.
“We feel that by turning the building and having the parking in the back would act as flood storage in an event like Tropical Storm Irene. That’s what we think should be done,” Kennedy said.
He also suggested the store move closer to Main Street and away from the Williams River. Kennedy believes it would provide additional benefits as well.
“It’s in our regional plan that in a village setting you want to see things closer to the road. This will be a village-type setting we’re proposing. This addressed flood plains and you get better circulation of traffic,” he said.
But Dollar General Store representatives disagreed with Kennedy’s suggestions. Attorney David Cooper maintained that Dollar General has looked at the alternatives and they believe they have the best project proposal.
“It’s our burden of proof that the site plan we proposed is well within the Act 250 criteria. I do not believe it’s our burden to prove our plan is better at meeting the criteria than any other alternative,” Cooper said.
The District Environmental Commission will review the evidence and issue a decision in the near future. No date has been determined.