After seven months of ongoing discussions that left many Denair residents at odds with the Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors, the Denair community is one step closer to playing host to a Dollar General.
Previously zoned to permit a lumber yard in 2007 that was never developed, the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved rezoning of the 1.75 acre parcel of land on the southwest side of Fresno Avenue in the vacant lot behind the corner Quickstop in Denair that will allow construction to commence when the value store is ready.
Despite months of residents voicing dissenting opinions on the chain store's expansion to the Denair community, there were not any Denair locals present to contest the vote on Tuesday. Residents had previously cited concerns about the welfare of students crossing the increasingly busy intersection near the Dollar General’s future lot as well as the concern of the negative impact on local businesses as reasons to halt the process. However, after a series of studies proved the area equipped to handle the environmental and traffic impacts the Dollar General would bring, the residents’ concerns did not prove viable to stop the process.
“I know there was some opposition to it, but it’s not proper government to deny this project just because it’s in competition with someone else,” said Supervisor Jim De Martini of the 5th District. “Everyone has to compete in a free market.”
Over the past several months the County Planning Commission met with the Denair Municipal Advisory Committee, which serves as a bridge between the unincorporated community and the county, to hear residents’ thoughts and in turn made modifications to the aesthetic structure of the building. Per the request of the locals, the Commission worked to add trellises as well as brick and stucco detail to the previously proposed metal exterior to soften the building’s appearance. Having met traffic concerns and zoning requirements, Dollar General is able to begin construction and could potentially employ up to 14 positions, five to six of which will be full time.
“They’ve done their duty. It’s probably not a popular decision on my behalf, but it seems that they have done everything that was asked for them in the community,” said Supervisor Vito Chiesa of District 2, which includes Denair. “People don’t like change — and I’m probably getting to the age where I don’t like change either — but I can’t come up with a reason not to send this forward.”
Once in business, the Dollar General store will operate seven days a week between the hours of 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. selling household items and food products with the ratio of 30 percent frozen foods and 70 percent pre-packaged foods. However, the chain store will not be selling fresh produce or meat.
The area around the store itself is also designed to include a 36 space parking lot, a truck receiving and unloading area, sidewalks, and associated utilities.
The County Board of Supervisors unanimously passed the rezoning of the 1.75 acre plot save for Supervisor William O’Brien of the 1st District who recused himself on the premise that although the Denair Dollar General is not in his district, the store could be considered a competitor of his stores, O’Brien’s Market.