Dollar General May Be Coming To Hot Springs
Warm Springs, VA – A Dollar General Store may be coming to Bath County. The Bath Planning commission approved a rezoning request Monday night, the first step in the process to bring the retailer to the area.
Rolf and Leslie Brunner applied to rezone 1.2 acres from medium density residential to general business for the purpose of constructing a Dollar General. The property is located near Bath Community Hospital in Hot Springs. The store will be 9000 square feet.
At the public hearing held Monday night, 6 people spoke in favor of the rezoning and 9 spoke against.
Tommy Ford of Mitchelltown is not opposed to the Dollar General store, just the location.
“I’m opposed to putting it in the middle of a residential neighborhood. That’s spot zoning, you can call it whatever you want to call it” says Ford. “We don’t do that in this county.”
Mike Spurgeon of Hot Springs says access to relatively inexpensive goods can be critical for lower income families.
“I work with some of the poorest of the poor in the county” says Spurgeon. “Most of these folks cannot afford five dollars to drive to Covington and back to pick up the stuff they need.”
Those opposed to the rezoning spoke of keeping the quiet neighborhood that is now zoned residential with no businesses in the area. The county’s comprehensive plan was also cited, saying this rezoning doesn’t match with community values in outlined in the plan, such as the rural nature of the area and favoring private businesses with no huge superstores. Speakers also had concerns about strong lighting and the noise associated with a long business day and afterhours deliveries.
There were also concerns about diminishing property values and flooding at the site. One speaker said the lot is vacant now because of flooding in 1985. And another explained that the lot is backfill over top of a creek.
Those who spoke in favor said there have been businesses in that area before and that the county needs more businesses, especially a low cost store like Dollar General. They also said the store will bring jobs and more tax revenue to the county. Several speakers said they now travel to Dollar General stores in other locations to shop.
The property is in a designated growth area and will create about 15 jobs. In response to concerns about spot zoning, Planning Commission member Lynn Ellen Black said spot zoning is legal when it benefits the community as a whole.
She also said that medium density residential zoning provides for development that is not completely residential and that includes public and semi public related uses.
Lighting for the store, water drainage and soil tests will have to meet Bath County’s requirements. The rezoning request passed on a vote of 4 to 1 with Mike Grist opposed. The rezoning request now goes to the Bath County Board of Supervisors.