Mary Katherine Murphy Richmond County Daily Journal
November 12, 2013
ROCKINGHAM — The Richmond County Planning and Zoning Board of Adjustment on Tuesday approved a conditional use permit for the construction of a Family Dollar retail store in East Rockingham.
County planner James Armstrong presented the plan, submitted last month by Durban Development, for an 8,300 square foot building located at the intersection of Airport Road and Entwistle Street. The plan also outlines a 27-space parking lot.
Armstrong said that the N.C. Department of Transportation is working with the developer to establish access to the property from Airport Road. Construction will also include an extension of city sewer lines from the opposite side of Airport Road.
“We have been working with the city’s sewer and utility correspondent and the sewer that we are installing is bringing it closer to Airport Road and it is in the location of some of the future plans that they have for the public utilities,” said Jason Mathis, Durban Development’s representative at the hearing.
Use as a retail store is classified as an acceptable conditional use in the neighborhood’s village residential zoning.
Following a five-minute public hearing, during which two neighborhood residents posed questions regarding the ability of neighboring homeowners to tie into the concurrent sewer extension and privacy buffer between the store and nearby homes, the board unanimously approved the conditional use permit.
One neighbor said after the vote that the store could make life difficult for those living adjacent to it.
“I think it’s going to be too close, it’s not going to give us hardly any room to get in or out,” said Brenda Barnes, of Airport Road.
Mathis said construction is scheduled to begin next spring and should take about five months. The store is expected to employ seven to 10 people.
In other business, the board approved a request made by the county to rezone its current waste transfer station, a 103-acre tract on Walter Kelly Drive, from rural residential to light industrial in accordance with its present use.
The property is the site of the former Richmond County landfill. Armstrong said that as the county applies for grants to improve the site, zoning is taken into consideration and the facility’s current use is considered legal but non-conforming.
“Back in 2003 this board considered this and said that they would take into consideration existing uses and this happened to fall through the cracks,” he said.