Dollar General to Seek Final Approval at December 1 Planning Commission Meeting

The controversial proposal to put a Dollar General store in the middle of a rural residential area in southern Morgan County ten miles south of Berkeley Springs is on the Planning Commission agenda for December 1, 2015 at 7 pm.

Photo: Bob Peak

Photo: Bob Peak

Morgan County already has two Dollar General stores — one in Berkeley Springs and one in Paw Paw — and a Family Dollar in Berkeley Springs.

In signs posted at the proposed site at the corner of Oakland Road and US 522 and in newspaper ads in the local paper, the developer for Dollar General gave notice that it will seek final plat approval for its plan.

The proposed store has drawn protests and a lawsuit brought by local residents.

“We do not believe that a rural neighborhood like Oakland Overlook is an appropriate location for a Dollar General store and have delivered to the Planning Commission a petition with 419 signatures supporting this view,” said local resident Paul Stern. “Dollar General must follow the applicable rules before it begins construction of a new store. So far they have not done so and the Commission has nevertheless allowed them to proceed. We will attend the December 1 meeting and urge Dollar General and the Commission to work with us to develop a plan that is acceptable to nearby residents and the community as a whole.”

An opposing group that favors the Dollar General at the site has submitted a petition to the Morgan County Commission with 136 signatures.

Last month, Morgan County Circuit Court Judge Christopher Wilkes issued a 35-page decision finding that the Morgan County Planning Commission did not violate local residents’ due process rights in approving plans to move forward with the proposed store.

The residents who sued the Planning Commission have filed an appeal with the West Virginia Supreme Court.

They have also sought to stay any construction at the site until an appeal has been heard.

But a Texas limited partnership by the name of SB DG and calling itself “the developer” has hired the law firm of Steptoe & Johnson to intervene in the litigation.

It is unclear how SB DG  is related to Dollar General.

But SB DG wants to intervene in the litigation and wants the judge to say no to the stay — or in the alternative, wants the residents to put up a bond to cover any potential damages if a stay is granted.

“Should this project be delayed for six months, the developer anticipates that it will incur a minimum of $260,000 in damages,” the company says in its court filing.

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