Dollar General will eventually be moving its current store at 1140 East Darlington Avenue to a new location sometime in the spring or summer of 2012.
The new location will be at 605 W. Market St.
A request from DAW Holdings LLC for a variance to allow a Dollar General store to be located at the site of the old Crawford Food Store was approved by a 3-0 vote by the Crawfordsville Zoning Appeals Wednesday night. Two members of the board were absent from the meeting.
Jeff Kimbell, representing DAW Holdings, gave the board members a proposed rendering of the building and parking lot.
“A photo is worth a thousand words,” board member Don Swearingen said. “I had some concerns but looking at this photo answers most of them.”
The request was not without some opposition Carolyn Baer came forth representing 14 neighbors who had signed a petition over a few concerns.
“It’s not that we are against Dollar General, but we have some concerns,” she said.
The primary concern was the alley to the south (or back) of the store. Baer said people use that alley to access the parking lot and do it in unsafe manners.
“Before you grant this request I urge you to table this until the alley issue is addressed,” she said. “Maybe something like speed bumps or lowering the speed limit on it would be a start.”
Swearingen and city attorney Dave Peebles said speed bumps are not going to happen.
“I have been in city politics for 21 years and speed bumps aren’t going to happen,” he said.
Peebles agreed as it opens the city up to more liability issues.
Swearingen mentioned that maybe the answer would be cutting off the access to the parking lot with some type of barriers.
Board member Jon Reidy asked Kimbell when the Dollar General Store would be opening and he said late spring of summer of 2012.
“Why don’t we go ahead and approve the request and work on fixing the alley issue,” he said. “It sounds like we have time.”
The request was approved with the understanding the barrier issue would be addressed before all the permits would be granted by the city.
The first part of the night was taken by Amber Laskowski asking for a special exception to allow her to continue to operate a ballroom dance studio out of her home in a residential zoned district at 305 E. Wabash.
Laskowski explained she usually only has one couple at a time and currently teaches seven lessons a week from the home she and her husband, Adam, rent.
Todd Gambrel and Christopher Short both said they and their wives have been taking classes and hoped the request would be approved. Laskowski’s neighbor Charles Goff also spoke in favor of the request and said there has not been any problems in the area.
Sally Evans and Rosanne Junkins spoke out against the exception. Both cited the issues of operating a home business out of a home in a historic district being a major concern. Junkins also said parking is an issue and sometimes her driveway is used by those taking classes.
Adam Laskowski said the previous owner had been running a business out of the home for at least 10 years. The previous owner ran a vacuum business out of the home.
“They had far more traffic than we ever do,” he said.
Board president Bob Snyder asked Laskowski how long she might teach lessons out of the home. She responded absolutely no more than three years and she would like to be able to move to an uptown studio in a year.
Since there were just three board members present it would have taken a unanimous vote to pass the exception. After 30 minutes of discussion it was decided to table the vote until the Nov. 16 meeting.