Good morning, troops. It's Thursday, Nov. 2.
The only thing preventing a Dollar General discount store from opening in western Woodford County appears to be Dollar General.
County officials have approved a land-use change that would allow a Dollar General to be constructed near the northeast corner of Illinois Route 26 and Collins Lane, south of Spring Bay. The County Board gave final assent last month, two months after an initial attempt was delayed.
But it doesn't appear certain Dollar General is ready to begin construction, at least right now.
The chain hasn't committed to locating an outlet along Route 26, also known as Spring Bay Road, according to Angela Petkovic, a Dollar General spokeswoman. A final decision is expected early next year.
"The company looks for places where we can offer customers an easy and convenient shopping choice," Petkovic told Nick in the Morning. "We know convenience is a major factor in our customers' shopping decisions, as we generally serve customers within a three-to-five mile radius, or 10 minute drive.
"We also take demographic trends, competitive factors, traffic patterns and community concerns into consideration."
Concerns from various community members led to additional county consideration. They also led to a more-restrictive land-use approval than first proposed.
The County Board and Zoning Board of Appeals approved a special use for the property, which is located in an area zoned for agriculture. The special use allowed the county to apply conditions, which include vegetative screening requirements, a proposed privacy fence and limits on lighting.
The special use lasts only for the life of the business ownership.
The original plan, which the county debated in August, would have rezoned the proposed Dollar General land. Rezoning would have allowed establishment of future businesses that might be incompatible with the surrounding area, according to County Board member Barry Logan.
Some County Board members objected to what they called "spot zoning," or zoning parcels of land differently than property that surrounds them. Some neighbors also complained about safety issues. They cited the narrowness of Route 26 and traffic.
Similar complaints prompted the Tazewell County Board in 2016 to reject the Dollar General developer's request to rezone land near the southeast corner of Route 26 and Collins Lane. That property is across the border from the Woodford County plot.
According to unofficial Woodford Zoning Board minutes, the Illinois Department of Transportation has given verbal approval to Dollar General's plan for access to Route 26. The minutes also stated the developer was agreeable to special-use lighting and screening restrictions.
During its regular meeting in October, the County Board approved the special use without discussion.