Construction on a new Dollar General store in Poolesville will start next fall, according to a company representative.
Dan MacDonald, a spokesman for Dollar General Corporation, said the store will have 7,200 square feet of sales floor. It will be built on the vacant lot at 19718 Fisher Ave., which the company owns. Information about the sale of the property was not immediately available.
Discount retailer Dollar General is based in Tennessee and has about 10,000 stores nationwide.
Kelley Coey of Zaremba Group, representing Dollar General, said at a Poolesville Planning Commission meeting on Wednesday that the company has secured a parking variance for the store. According to Poolesville Town Commissioner Chuck Stump, Poolesville’s parking regulations generally require businesses to have many more spaces than they need. The planning commission is working to rewrite those regulations.
The Dollar General store will have about 30 parking spaces, Coey said. The current town regulations would have required them to have one parking space per 100 square feet of sales floor area, but the newly proposed regulations would only require one space per 300 square feet of sales floor.
The typical Dollar General has six to 10 employees, MacDonald said.
At previous planning commission meetings, residents were concerned that more chain stores would change the town’s atmosphere. Dollar General has made changes to the facade of the store, taking ornamental elements from Poolesville’s town hall, redesigning the store’s sign and making the lighting outside the store less obtrusive.
One Poolesville resident spoke up at the planning commission’s Wednesday public hearing on Dollar General. Tom Kettler, president of Kettler Forlines Homes at Brightwell Crossing, said he’d like to see more uniform lighting for commercial buildings along Fisher Avenue. But overall, he said he was “excited” about more commercial development in town.
MacDonald said Dollar General stores are “part of the fabric of small-town America.”
“We understand small towns very well,” he said.
Jim Brown, president of Poolesville’s town commissioners, said residents have “cherished” its small town atmosphere even as chain businesses like McDonald’s, Subway and CVS thrive.
“They’ve provided goods and services the town has needed,” he said in an email. “Poolesville will always be a small town, and only certain types of companies can make a business plan that makes sense for our area.”
Over time, Brown said, the town commissioners would like to see more “vitality” in Poolesville’s commercial district along Fisher Avenue. They are currently reviewing revisions of the town’s zoning code that would help attract more businesses to that area.
“The development of critical mass through business investment is probably our best path towards a healthy downtown environment,” he said.