Home >> News >> Features >> Gilchrist Commission denies SUP for Dollar General at SE 70th on SR 26

Gilchrist Commission denies SUP for Dollar General at SE 70th on SR 26

The Gilchrist County Commission heard an application request for a Special Use Permit to allow a 10,640 square foot commercial retail store to be located in an A-2 land use category, with a land use classification as “Neighborhood Commercial” as defined in the Gilchrist County Comprehensive Plan. Holly White represented Concept Development Inc., an agent for Norman M. Scoggins and Dawneeka Tousey which own the adjoining properties located at 6960 SE SR 26 and SE 70th Street, Trenton. (Waccasassa area).
David M. Lang, Jr., Gilchrist County Zoning and Land Use Director, presented the application to the five County Commissioners attending the Public Hearing, which was scheduled for 4:30 p.m. Monday. The Zoning Director presented the staff report to the Commission and explained the size of the property is 2.58 acres. This SUP 2021-03 application in A-2, Neighborhood Commercial zoning does not appear to be consistent with the Comprehensive Plan and Land Use Development Code for the use of a 10,640 square foot commercial retail store in this location. The A-2 zoning district requires a minimum of 5 acres for the proposed development.
Sharon Langford, Gilchrist County Commission Chairperson asked the public, is there anyone attending this meeting that would like to speak to the Commission about this proposed development?
Tom Hunt, a resident of Gilchrist County who moved to the southeast portion of Gilchrist County some years ago from Broward County, told the Commission that he moved to this rural area because it is rural with open spaces. “We that live in southeast Gilchrist County are not under served when it comes to buying the necessities that we need for food and gasoline for our vehicles.” Mr. Hunt explained, with the growth and development that is coming to Gilchrist County, the Commission will have to take a close look at the density in the population and the impact that this growth has caused and how it has impacted this rural community and its life style. He urged the Commission to deny the SUP 2021-03.
Jessie Miller addressed the Commission to let them know that he has lived in Gilchrist County 48 years and is a resident of SE Gilchrist County. He pointed out that if you look around within 15 miles of this location, there are six Dollar General stores in the Gilchrist and Alachua county areas. The intersection where this development is proposed to be located is not designed to allow the traffic and big trucks to enter and exit SE 70th Street without causing a traffic problem. The traffic study that was presented to the Commission in this meeting is incorrect. There will be problems if this development is approved in this location. He asked the Commission to deny the SUP 2021-03.
Toni Berru told the Commission that this development will attract more traffic to this area and will cause more problems for the southeast area of Gilchrist County. She asked the Commission to deny SUP 2021-03.
Nathan Patel explained to the Commission that if this development is approved in this location, it will put the existing mom and pop convenience store out of business. He asked the Commission to deny SUP 2021-03.
The Commission Chairperson gave Holly White an opportunity to re-address the board, to present a rebuttal to what the public had told the Commission about the development impact would do to this rural neighborhood community.
Ms. White explained that this application, she feels meets the intent of the neighborhood community zoning in this area. “We feel this development will be compatible and create harmony in the community if it is approved,” she explained.
Holly White asked, if the application is denied, will the Commission allow the applicant to revise the application and submit before the twelve-month time period?
Commissioner Darrell Smith asked the staff, if the neighboring property owners received letters to let them know of this proposed change on this property?
Mr. Lang pointed out that the application for Special Use Permit had been posted on the property, the application had been published in the newspaper of record in the county, but the guidelines for a SUP does not require Gilchrist County to send a letter to make surrounding land owners aware of the proposed development.
Commissioner Kenrick Thomas made a motion to deny SUP 2021-03 based on the recommendation given to the board in the staff report. Commissioner Bill Martin agreed as he gave a second to the motion. The Chairperson called for a vote as the board agreed 5-0 to approve the motion.
Commissioner Bill Martin made a motion to allow the applicant to re-apply after a two-month period of time. Commissioner Darrell Smith gave a second to the motion as the board agreed by a unanimous vote.