Dollar General opponents file DRB/Act 250 appeals
By Christian Avard
Staff Writer | March 27,2013
CHESTER — Opponents of a national box store chain are gearing up for a battle in state Environmental Court.
Attorney James Dumont of Bristol is appealing the Chester Development Review Board and District 2 Environmental Commission permit approvals for a Dollar General Store on behalf of 19 Chester residents.
Dumont submitted a brief on the DRB’s decision Thursday and an Act 250 appeal was filed Monday, according to court documents.
Dumont said the Environmental Court will issue a decision based on DRB transcripts and the filings made by him and Dollar General lawyers and the Act 250 permitting process will start from the beginning in court.
No dates have been determined when Environmental Court will issue a decision on the DRB appeal or when the Act 250 appeal process will take place.
“It would be nice if we won it and there could be a better use for the site,” Dumont said. “We spent a lot of time on this and we’ll keep pushing until we have a favorable resolution.”
The Chester residents included in the filing are Shawn Cunningham, Michele Bargfrede, Cindy and Richard Farnsworth, Gail and Robert Gibbons, Diane and John Holme, Janice Housten, Leonard Lisai, Scott Morgan, Donald and Stephanie Payne, Kathy Pellett, William Reed, Kathy Schoendorf, Claudio Veliz and Bonnie and Lew Watters.
Dumont said his clients argued the Chester DRB’s conclusions were not legally adequate, that the DRB committed errors of law in granting a conditional use permit and that a Dollar General Store would have a “substantial material adverse impact” on the community.
“Many of these folks live close or next to the site,” Dumont said. “Some of them have businesses as well and they believe Dollar General will negatively affect them and the character of the area.”
The Zaremba Group of Lakewood, Ohio, is planning to build a 9,100-square-foot retail store on two lots consisting of 10 acres. The proposed location is on South Main Street next to Zachary’s Pizza.
Dollar General Store of Goodlettsville, Tenn., is a national retail chain with more than 10,000 stores in 40 states, including one in nearby Springfield. According to the company website, the stores had more than $14.8 billion in sales last year and the chain is the nation’s largest small-box discount retailer.
Zaremba Group attorney David Cooper of Kenlan, Schwiebert, Facey and Goss of Rutland and Matt Casey of the Zaremba Group declined to comment on the appeals.