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Zoning for hardware store approved
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The Dawson County Board of Commissioners has unanimously approved an application to rezone property for a hardware store.

Zoning on the three-acre parcel, located next to Dawsonville Gun and Pawn on Highway 53, was changed from Residential Sub-Rural Manufactured to Commercial Highway Business during Thursday’s board meeting.

“I know Paul Mincey at the gun shop, and we think we’ll complement each other’s business,” investor Wyman Walden said Friday. “It’s mutually beneficial.”

Dawson County’s planning commission recommended approval to the board with two stipulations: The store’s site plan must meet applicable parking and landscape requirements, and access to the site mustbe adequate.

If accessed from Highway 53, a GDOT permit will need to be obtained, wrote Planning Commission Director David McKee.

“The reason for the stipulation is there used to be an access road, Stephens Road, which used to connect 53 back over Lumpkin Campground,” McKee said during the meeting. “There

has been some discussion of possibly rebuilding that road back to their property line, up to commercial standards, then accessing off that road. If that’s what they do, it may still require DOT approval.”

The property is considered part of the 400 corridor, which also requires that buildings meetspecific standards.

“If the owner chooses,he could go for a variance,” McKee said. “It is for aesthetics, and not in this application.”

Walden said Ace and True Value have both done pro formas (financial statements) on the property.

“The location is good for what we want to do,” Walden said. “We think it is a good move forward, and I have noproblem with the stipulations.”

Walden is no stranger to the hardware business, having once owned four hardware stores, including one in the Ingles shopping center in Dawsonville, as well as in Oakwood, Marble Hill and Dahlonega.

“Of the four stores we had, the Dawsonville location was the best until Home Depot came in,” Walden said. “We think now is a good time to come back to Dawsonville. We really like the area.”

Walden and his daughter, Brittany Mundy, runthe store in Dahlonega, and plan to work together in the Dawsonville location.

Construction could begin as early as next month.

“There’s always a lot of ‘if’s’, but I expect the land to close on the 31st, and the SBA (Small Business Administration) loan to closeon the 31st,” Walden said. “We haven’t addressed everything, but I know who to talk to next.”

Currently, there are three hardware stores in Dawson County: Home Depot, Dawsonville Hardware and Ace Hardware in Marble Hill.