Dollar General, which operates this store in the Village of Union Grove, had a proposed location in Burlington rejected last week amid resident concerns. (Photo by Jason Arndt)

Residents voice opposition to discount store’s proposed location

By Jason Arndt

Editor

Town of Burlington’s Planning and Zoning Commission rejected all items related to a proposed Dollar General store in the Bohners Lake area at a Nov. 14 meeting.

The rejection drew applause from dozens of residents who showed up to voice opposition for the proposed 9,100-square-foot store targeted for the west side of McHenry Street, about 350-feet south of Walburg Lane/Honey Lane intersection.

Strong opposition

Before the Planning and Zoning Commission rejected the plan, multiple residents spoke in opposition of the store, with most expressing concerns about traffic safety as well as compromising the town’s rural integrity.

Lora Stange, who lives on McHenry Street, told the Planning and Zoning Commission the town’s character drew her family to the community from Illinois.

Jill Rozell, another resident, said the decision could bring long-term implications for the Town of Burlington.

“Any commercial, or residential growth for that matter, that takes place there will establish a new identity for our community,” she said.

Furthermore, Rozell pointed out neighboring communities have their own Dollar General stores, including Union Grove, Paddock Lake and Twin Lakes.

Rozell said she does not believe the proposed location would be sustainable.

“Economically, there isn’t enough residents to support it. When it fails, there will be left an unattractive building.”

Rozell, however, said she was not necessarily opposed to any commercial development.

Plan doesn’t fit, officials say

The Planning and Zoning Commission, which took resident feedback under consideration, rejected the plan on the basis of best use.

Other reasons include lack of expert opinion, including from the town engineer, who was not present at the Nov. 12 meeting, as well as review from Racine County.

“From my perspective, I haven’t seen anything from the applicant that would make me want to approve this,” board member Phil Peterson said.

“I also wanted to see what the county has to say in regards to this because this is a county road. They have jurisdiction over the access to it. The county has not seen it yet.”

Town Supervisor No. 4 Jeff Lang, present at the Planning and Zoning Commission meeting, indicated the proposed store might not meet the town’s land use plan approved a few years earlier.

“We did discuss potential best use within the commercial context,” Lang said, adding these discussions revealed retail would not be an ideal fit.

“It might be a good location for some other low impact commercial operation, perhaps a small assisted living facility,” added Lang.

To read the entire story see the Nov. 22 edition of the Burlington Standard Press.