Dollar General earns approval in Shoreham

SHOREHAM — The Shoreham Zoning Board of Adjustment has given its conditional approval to a 7,545-square-foot Dollar General store to be built on a 1-acre parcel on the east side of Route 22A, and the applicants have said the new building could be in place before the end of the year.
Five Shoreham ZBA members unanimously endorsed the project on March 17, after weighing public testimony and studying plans submitted by the applicant, Shoreham BTS Retail, LLC.
“It has met all the requirements and use standards,” Shoreham ZBA Chairman John Kiernan said of the proposal, which was not without controversy. Some local residents who attended the public hearings questioned whether a Dollar General would do enough business in rural Shoreham, thus raising concerns about it potentially becoming empty.
Dollar General has historically shared few insights on its store siting criteria. Efforts to reach Shoreham BTS Retail LLC spokesman Matt Casey were unsuccessful as the Addison Independent went to press on Friday.
Developers appear to be banking on attracting customers from Shoreham and through the steady pass-by traffic on Route 22A.
Kiernan said the potential profitability of the store was not among the statutory criteria against which the ZBA had to measure the project. He added Dollar General will be renting the new building from Shoreham BTS Retail, which could recruit a new tenant if its original occupant has to vacate.
Plans on file at the Shoreham town offices show a barn-style design for the store, to be located within the town’s Village-Commercial zoning district. The site is to be carved from a 5.37-acre parcel owned by the Shoreham Telephone Co. at 3167 Route 22A.
The new store will have 25-30 parking spaces and employ eight to 12 workers over three shifts, with two or three per shift, according to its plans. The store will be open 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days per week, though the company will consider revising that schedule after it has developed a track record over a few months.
Lighting will be automated to switch on 30 minutes prior to opening and off 30 minutes after closing, according to the application. Security lighting will be maintained.
Rutland-based NBF Architects designed the proposed Shoreham Dollar General. The design incorporates a gabled entrance, south facing windows, and some faux barn doors. The structure will be white, with a dark standing seam roof, plans indicate.
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.
As of last year, Tennessee-based Dollar General had 14,321 retail locations in 44 states, including more than 30 stores in Vermont — one of which is located in Ferrisburgh.
The company, 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 said it did $22 billion in sales during fiscal year 2016 and employs a combined total of more than 130,000 workers.
In its “findings of fact and notice of decision” on the application, the Shoreham ZBA found the project will have no undue, adverse effect on the character of the neighborhood, traffic, municipal services, water and wastewater, noise and several other zoning criteria.
Construction is expected to take around five months, according to the applicants.
Shoreham resident Molly Francis said while she realizes people need places to buy things inexpensively, she noted the many existing stores in the area that serve that purpose. She specifically noted the One Dollar Market in Middlebury and the Dollar General in Ferrisburgh.
“I don’t like the idea of a Dollar General being in Shoreham; it seems like there are a lot of stores (like Dollar General) for this small part of the world,” she said.
Reporter John Flowers is at [email protected].

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