Warren County Board of Supervisors to vote on rezoning application

The Warren County Board of Supervisors will vote on a rezoning request for a potential site of a Dollar General on Strasburg Road on Tuesday night.

The four-acre lot at 1453 Strasburg Road, owned by Vicky Jimenez, is zoned as an agricultural location according to the county’s approved comprehensive plan. In order for Dollar General to build a 9,100 square foot retail store, the lot needs to be rezoned as commercial. JMB Investment Company, of Knoxville, Tennessee, is attempting to buy the property to lease back to Dollar General.

Gene Brown, a representative of JMB Investment, presented the company’s application for rezoning to the Warren County Planning Commission at its Dec. 9 meeting. At the meeting, Brown said Dollar General will hire local people and the company will cede land needed to widen the road to accommodate traffic around the store.

Ten area residents spoke at that meeting, all disapproving the motion to rezone the property. The commission voted unanimously to recommend the Board of Supervisors deny the request for rezoning the land, citing the traffic increases on the road, concerns about tractor-trailer trucks pulling out of the location onto the road and concerns about modifying the comprehensive plan.

The commercial properties along the road, including the storage facility adjacent to 1453 Strasburg Road, Henry’s Grocery — its owner Lisa Salazar is a vocal opponent of the rezoning — and the Seven Express were all grandfathered as commercial properties when the zoning ordinance went into effect.

In an open letter sent to local media outlets and the Warren County Zoning Board of Appeals on Jan. 13, Jimenez asked “that a second look be taken at the actual facts of this rezoning request and not be decided by the local media.”

The letter included a map of the zoning request that indicated the properties north, south and east of 1453 Strasburg Road are zoned as agricultural, while the property to the west is zoned as commercial. Jimenez noted in the letter that “one should clearly struggle to label this rezoning request as a ‘spot” rezoning.'”

She also reminded the board that the JMB would comply with all VDOT regulations and the site would not be “any less safe entertaining a local Dollar store then it would be to enter any of the other stores, businesses, churches, restaurants and storage units in the area.”

Referring to Salazar’s public opposition to the Dollar General, Jimenez asked the board to “put aside the emotional media frenzy from one business owner to this appeal and focus on what is clearly a great opportunity to not only create new jobs in this still sad economy but increase many sources of revenue for our fine County.”

The Warren County Board of Supervisors will meet at 7 p.m. at the Warren County Government Center. The public hearing will begin at 7:30 p.m. and members of the public will have up to three minutes to share their support or opposition to the request. Following the hearing, the board will vote on whether or not to grant the rezoning request.