Hope Plan Commission issues unfavorable recommendation about proposed retail complex

Photo provided Hope Plan Commission members will consider a zoning change for this property at the request of developers of a Dollar Tree and Family Dollar combo store.

HOPE – In a unanimous vote, the five-member Hope Planning Commission decided to issue an unfavorable recommendation regarding a controversial proposed two-store retail complex.
Nearly 50 people attended a public hearing sponsored by the commission Monday evening regarding the proposed Dollar Tree and Family Dollar combo store, which developers want to construct on the southeast corner of Main St. (State Road 9) and South St.  
Of the 15 individuals who addressed the commission, not a single person spoke in favor of the proposed retail development.   
The top concern expressed by both commission members and the audience was the safety of children. Kids use the east side of Main Street in front of the proposed development site to walk to and from the Flat Rock-Hawcreek schools, In addition, track and cross-country team members use the front of the property for practice running.  There is also a daycare center located across the street from the proposed development.   
Hope Town Council and commission member Ed Johnson said the intersection of South and Main streets is already the second most dangerous intersection in the town of 2,100 residents.The most dangerous is Hauser Drive and Main Street, he said. 

A number of speakers said they worried what impact the combo store would have on neighboring property values. Gary Dodd, who owns much of the property along Main Street on the south side of Hope, said he was certain the retail development would have a negative impact on those values.
Several in attendance said there was no need for a Dollar Tree and Family Dollar combo in Hope because most of what they sell is already available at the Dollar General Store, which has maintained a presence in Hope since 1999.
The unfavorable recommendation will be brought to the Hope Town Council during their next regular meeting at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec 19. ‘
For more, see Wednesday’s edition of The Republic.