Toms Brook OKs rezoning for Dollar General store

Dollar General wants to put a store on this property just south of the former Toms Brook School.  Rich Cooley/Daily

Dollar General wants to put a store on this property just south of the former Toms Brook School. Rich Cooley/Daily

TOMS BROOK — The Town Council voted 5-1 to rezone a parcel of land on the south end of town from residential to commercial for a proposed Dollar General on Thursday night.

The 1.36 acres lot at 3224 South Main St., next to the old school, was rezoned to accommodate the 9,100-square-foot store, under the condition of a proffer that included preserving the stone wall lining the street, putting screens around the dumpsters, screens around the roof top HVAC systems and a $5,000 contribution to the Toms Brook Volunteer Fire Department.

Vice Mayor Walter Stepp said he supported the rezoning because it would increase the town’s tax base.

“Nobody’s going to buy the property, fix it up or build a house there. It’s just too big and too valuable.  Somebody’s going to buy it and something of a commercial nature is going to be there, whether it’s this one or something down the road,” Stepp said.

“I personally think it’s a good project for the town and it’s a good place for it. Toms Brook needs a bigger tax base to survive … we’re a small town with big town problems … this project will be good for the town and it will be a good tax base for us,” he added.

Council member Dawn Rinker cast the dissenting vote. After the meeting, she said she voted against the rezoning request because of the public opposition against the store.

“I personally wouldn’t want to live next to a Dollar General and I’ve had a lot of people approach me saying they don’t want to live beside it either,” Rinker said. “At our public hearing last week, there were a lot of people against it.”

Allen Brawley, owner of Brawley Construction, the firm that will build the Dollar General, said once the site plans are submitted and the necessary permits are procured, ground should be broken in either May or June. Once work begins, Brawley said, it would take 10 weeks to complete.

Brawley also answered questions posed by council regarding how much light the store will emit and if his firm will employ local subcontractors. Brawley said the lighting should not be an issue and he is willing to employ local labor so long as the bid is low and the contractor has the skills for the job.

The council also voted unanimously to change an ordinance requiring one parking space for every 200 square feet of commercial floor space to one parking space for every 300 square feet.

Council also discussed replacing the town’s incandescent Christmas lights and procuring two dumpsters for the town’s Memorial Day spring cleaning.

Contact staff writer Henry Culvyhouse at 540-465-5137 ext. 184, or

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