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Shoreham spot eyed for Dollar General store

SHOREHAM — The Shoreham Zoning Board of Adjustment on Feb. 8 will begin reviewing an application for a 7,545-square-foot Dollar General store that would be built on a 1-acre parcel on the east side of Route 22A.
Plans on file at the Shoreham town offices show a barn-style design for the store, which would be located within the town’s Village-Commercial zoning district. The proposed site would be carved from a 5.37-acre parcel owned by the Shoreham Telephone Co. at 3167 Route 22A. The  company would lease the property to Dollar General, according to plans.
Dollar General as of last November had 14,321 retail locations in 44 states, including more than 30 stores in Vermont. One of those stores is located on Route 7 in Ferrisburgh.
Matt Casey is vice president of business development for Zaremba Group, which has been representing Dollar General in its effort to site a store in Shoreham. Phone messages left for Casey went unreturned as the Addison Independent went to press on Friday.
Dollar General, according to its website, bills itself as selling “food, snacks, health and beauty aids, cleaning supplies, basic apparel, housewares and seasonal items at everyday low prices in convenient neighborhood locations… The average Dollar General customer completes her shopping trip in less than 10 minutes.”
The company did $22 billion in sales during fiscal year 2016 and employs a combined total of more than 130,000 workers, according to its website. Its corporate offices are based in Goodlettsville, Tenn.
Dollar General’s rapid spread through Vermont during the past decade has spurred some concern and controversy. Their store proposals — such as the one up for consideration in Shoreham — are typically less than 10,000 square feet and require fewer than 10 acres, and thus seldom trigger an Act 250 review. The Shoreham store will require a conditional use permit from the local ZBA. Dollar General filed its latest application on Nov. 8 of last year, which was around a week before Shoreham advertised its new overlay regulations for its municipal zoning districts.
Dollar General scaled back the size of the proposed lot and building to better fit within the community. The company’s original version of the project (that Dollar General officials ultimately withdrew) included a more generic, box-style store, local officials said.
The portend of competition from Dollar General has been known to raise concerns among small, local storeowners fearful their prices will be undercut. This wouldn’t appear to be a major issue in Shoreham, whose picturesque village boasts but a few businesses, including a Maplefields gas station and convenience store and an inn. Dollar General has historically shared few insights on its store siting criteria. But in the case of the Shoreham store, Dollar General officials are clearly hoping to capitalize on the considerable traffic on Route 22A.
NBF Architects of Rutland designed the proposed Shoreham Dollar General. The design incorporates a gabled entrance, south facing windows, and some faux barn doors.
“Two barn ventilators similar in design to the ventilators seen on vernacular Vermont barns will complete the look,” reads an NBF design narrative for the project.
“Colors selected will be consistent with those seen in other buildings along this stretch of road, namely white siding and trim, galvanized metal standing seam roofing, and aluminum storefront doors and windows,” reads the narrative.
Plans call for the Dollar General to connect with Shoreham’s municipal water and sewer systems. The company is proposing 25 paved parking spaces for the store, which would be open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days per week.
George Gross is a member of the Shoreham Planning Commission, which last October held a brief, informal discussion with Dollar General representatives about the company’s plans. Gross believes the developers have taken some of the commission’s feedback into consideration with their latest proposal, which he looks forward to studying.
Gross believes the Dollar General application provides Shoreham with an added incentive to re-examine and perhaps adjust its zoning rules.
“It’s clear there is a newfound awareness for zoning to have a more clearly defined roadmap of how to develop that area,” Gross said of the Village-Commercial district.
Reporter John Flowers is at [email protected].

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