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Dollar General eyes Tuxedo

Investors have filed a rezoning request that would allow a Dollar General store on Old Highway 25 across from the future Tuxedo Community Park. Investors have filed a rezoning request that would allow a Dollar General store on Old Highway 25 across from the future Tuxedo Community Park.

TUXEDO — If everything falls into place, residents of southern Henderson County could be getting a Dollar General store.


A development group that includes Henderson County Commissioner Tommy Thompson has optioned the property and the developer's president, Dennis Dorn, has applied for a rezoning that would allow the discount retailer to build next to the Tuxedo Treasures antique store and across from the future Tuxedo Community Park.
"It's an idea we're checking into and we're trying to see" if it can work, Thompson said. "We are talking with the folks and we have an option to purchase the land."
Thompson is one of six owners of Westside Village Properties LLC, which owns the Westside Village strip center with a Dollar General, Subway and HeBrews coffee shop at N.C. 191 and Mountain Road west of Hendersonville.
"If the zoning doesn't work out it's not going to happen," Thompson said. "If Dollar General doesn't want to put a store there it's not going to happen. It's all contingent on a lot of things."
The land is owned by Kenneth Allen, who also owns the Tuxedo antique store in the old Tuxedo Community Store building.
Dorn has requested a change in zoning for the 1.42-acre parcel tract from R2R residential to Local Commercial Conditional, a designation that would allow the discount store. Conditional zoning districts require a site plan approval. Under the county's land development ordinance, local commercial districts are intended to "foster orderly growth" in areas that have a commercial and residential mix, allow retail sales and services and minimize urban sprawl.

Planning Board to review request
The rezoning request comes at the same as the county Planning Board and Board of Commissioners are considering adoption of the Green River Tuxedo Zirconia Community Plan, which was adopted by an advisory committee of local residents on Sept. 10. The GRTZ plan and the business zoning request both come before the Planning Board on Nov. 21. The GRTZ community plan recommended the property be rezoned for local commercial use.
The planning staff said in a report that it supports rezoning for local commercial use but recommended conditional zoning that requires site plan approval and allows the county to make other restrictions to "reduce the impact on the surrounding community." Planners recommended shielding outdoor lights from residential property and orienting the building so it faces Old Highway 25 with parking on the side and rear and adequate parking. Planner Parker Sloan said in his report that it appears the applicant has proposed more than the required number of parking spaces.
Vivian Owens, who lives in a house behind the antique store and Tuxedo hair salon, said she had heard that a developer planned a Dollar General on the lot "with the pretty trees."
"Progress moves on," she said. "They're going to do that park."
She worked at the old Tuxedo mill years ago. The county bulldozed the old mill and plans a community park on the site. Owens said the park is OK with her as long as it's not too rowdy.
"Times change," she said.
The possibility of a Dollar General in Tuxedo echoes an attempt by the discount retailer to build a new store in Horse Shoe. County commissioners shot down that request after neighbors expressed concerns about traffic and Horse Shoe Baptist Church members raised concerns about alcohol sales. The Tuxedo site has a church within sight, too. Tuxedo Baptist Church is across the road beside the community park site.
Dollar General has expanded aggressively in the area over the past several years, opening the Westside Village store and others in Edneyville, Saluda and Dana.
Thompson said he would have to recuse himself from voting when the zoning comes before the Board of Commissioners.