MANSFIELD -- A public hearing for a rezoning petition that would allow construction of a Dollar General store along Cline Avenue is scheduled Sept. 7 with Mansfield City Council's codes & permits committee.
The 6:45 p.m. hearing comes after the City Planning Commission on June 22 unanimously voted to recommend City Council deny the request, a meeting which included several neighboring property owners objecting to the proposal.
The request is to rezone several parcels just west of the Wood Street intersection from "office services (OS)" to "general business district (B2)" to allow for mercantile use.
According to the rezoning application, OS doesn't allow a retail store over 5,000 feet as a permissible use and that B2 lists "supermarket" as a possible use and would allow the project to continue.
The request would separate the land into a three-acre lot with 260 feet of frontage by 450 feet deep, according to planning commission meeting minutes.
The rezone would "create an island for B2 since this area is developed for residential use," according to the minutes.
Daniel Wiegand of Old School Developers, who currently owns the land, and Jeff Mattingly of Carter Commercial Real Estate, told the planning commission that Dollar General is "very interested in the area, stating that research has shown the area would do well to have a new store in this location."
Mattingly told the commission Dollar General would like to develop a 10,640-square foot store on the three acres of the 10-acre parcel and "plan to donate the rest of the acreage to anyone who could use it."
Mattingly said Dollar General doesn't "plan to rezone any acreage of the back or the lot near any homes."
Marc Milliron, manager of codes, permits and zoning for the city, said his department recommended a B1 designation, which "would eliminate such problems as large pylon signs, merchandise displayed outside the building and the presence of large off-premise billboard signs."
Mattingly said Dollar General doesn't allow billboards on its property and is willing to stipulate there can be no large signs allowed on the premises.
Among the neighboring property owners at the commission meeting, Richard Whitlach of 335 Vennum Ave. said a nearby apartment complex "already has police being called constantly."
He said the store's presence "could encourage anyone who was to rob it to run down toward the woods, right through neighbor's yards."
Jim Barr of 319 Vennum Ave. told commission members there is a halfway house in the neighborhood and a large police presence. He also stated, "the city doesn't need another Dollar General."
Wiegand told commission members it was unfair to blame Dollar General for issues with the apartment complex or the halfway house.
Mattingly said there is a need for a Dollar General that sells groceries as this proposed store would do. He said many people in the area don't have vehicles.
After the discussion, commission member Dan Seckel made a motion to recommend City Council not allow the rezoning, "based on the discouragement of spot zoning in an existing zoning district."
Fellow commission member Jotika Shetty seconded the motion and the vote was unanimous among all eight members.