When the planning commission voted to deny a request for a larger Dollar General at the corner of Harmony Church and Nix Bridge Roads, the room erupted into cheers and applause as residents gathered in opposition celebrated.
The Feb. 21 vote was a denial of one Cartersville developer's request for variances that would allow a 9,100 square foot store to go in on a property zoned for up to a 5,000 square foot building. The application also asked for 33 parking spaces as opposed to the 46 required by code.
The denial meant only that the developer, Bobby Howard, could not put in a store of that size.
Because the property is currently zoned commercial community business, the developers could build up to a 5,000 square foot building with the required 46 parking spaces and not need a vote from the planning board.
Howard stated in his application that he asked for the variances because the planning staff recommended that he do so instead of rezoning the property to commercial highway business.
Planning Board Member Tim Bennett motioned to deny the request so as not to set a precedent of allowing larger buildings on property zoned for smaller buildings.
However, the same developers are currently preparing to build a 9,100 square foot Dollar General in Dawsonville where Hwy. 183 meets Hwy. 136 near Afton Road.
In October Howard applied for a zoning change for the 5.25 acre lot to be rezoned from residential agricultural to commercial community business. The application was approved by the Dawson County Board of Commissioners in December.
Howard also submitted an application for variances to allow him to build a 9,100 square foot store with 30 parking spaces on the property, still outside of the allowed 5,000 square feet and 46 parking spaces for commercial community business zoning. The variance was approved by the planning commission in November.
Howard has submitted an appeal to the Feb. 21 decision, which will be put before the board of commissioners for a final decision on April 6. If the commission again denies the request, Howard will have to wait a year before bringing anything else before the county, or could file litigation in the meantime.