Salt Springs Family Dollar plan nixed

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Posted July 29, 2021 | By Carlos Medina,

Plans for a proposed Family Dollar near Salt Springs were not welcomed by several residents who argued the area has enough local shops.

The plan came before the Marion County Planning and Zoning Commission on July 26. The board members voted 3-1 to deny a change in zoning.

The proposal now goes before the Marion County Commission for their consideration on Aug. 17. The commission is not bound by the P&Z board’s vote.

The heavily wooded three acres, owned by Mary and Stacey Weeks, are located just west of Forest Road on County Road 314.

Currently the property is zoned for heavier business uses, but Rodney Rogers of Rogers Engineering was asking for a zoning change to B2, which would allow a business like a Family Dollar.

Jane Baldwin, who lives nearby spoke against the plan.

“Right now, I feel that there is enough traffic,” Baldwin said. “I feel as though there is enough businesses in the area. It would change the area.”

Rogers argued the store would only draw people from the nearby area so any impact on traffic would be negligible.

Still residents pointed to a Dollar General less than three miles away and a local grocery store even closer as to why another store is not needed.

“We’re not interested in that in Salt Springs. We live out there for the reason of being isolated. We know when we move there that we have to drive to get some things,” said Elizabeth Best.

Craig Newman said he didn’t want a store located so close to nearby Lake Kerr for fear of stormwater runoff polluting the lake.

“They are dropping this right in the middle of a wooded area and resident on the other side. It doesn’t seem right to do that,” Newman said.

Rogers said the property would include water retention areas on the property that would collect stormwater.

The back of the property would also remain wooded to conceal the store from residents.

James Bailey, a P&Z board member, made a motion to accept the proposal but it died after not receiving a second. Fellow board member Michael Behar then made a motion to deny the application, which did receive a second from Andy Bonner and eventually received a 3-1 vote in favor of denial. Bailey voted against the denial.

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