Neighborhood protesting potential Dollar General store

About 20 homes make up Southern Pines in McCracken County. Vernon Neihoff loves having family as his neighbors but hates the idea of a retailer moving in. 

A roughly one acre lot adjacent to the neighborhood originally belonged to Richards Small Engine Shop. He sold it as “rural residential” property, but the new owner filed an application with the planning commission to have it changed to “commercial.”

During the hearing Neihoff said he learned the future business is a Dollar General, and not only do they want the zoning changed, they want variance siting interference when Highway 45 shortened their lot. Neihoff said the highway couldn’t have impacted the lot because it didn’t exist when the road went it. 

He and the rest of the people in the neighborhood said they aren’t against the business, they’re against the location. They don’t understand why it has to be so close to their homes when there is no other commercial property nearby. They’re concerned about the tree buffer getting torn down, bright lights from the parking lot, and trash location being smelly and noisy. Eddie Box is representing them in the appeal of the zoning change.

Fiscal Court members heard both sides at their meeting Monday. 

Greg Northcutt is representing Susan Cox, who applied for the initial change. He argued the decision is about the zone at this point, not about trees and lighting. That, he said, is a step much farther in the process. 

“All those things are interesting, and they have to be addressed at some point, just not right now” he said. “They’re going to have to address access and buffering and light containment and trash and all those other things. They basically have to do a site map. They have to do the whole thing and it has to be approved.”

He also said the planning commission made its decision based on the county’s comprehensive plan and said the area is clearly a commercial site. 

Fiscal Court members will weigh the arguments and make a decision at the next meeting June 21. 

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