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Why some neighbors are going to war with Dollar General

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Posted at 6:21 PM, Nov 13, 2014
and last updated 2014-11-14 07:11:25-05

HANOVER COUNTY, Va. -- Some neighbors who live along Route 301, near Pine Ridge Road, in Hanover County said they were concerned about a Dollar General store going up near their homes.

The neighbors said they were worried about the amount of traffic the new store would bring and felt the Dollar General would not fit in with the historic land.

Jack Kendig, who has lived near the site for more than 30 years,  said he is used to rural living, but through the years has had to adjust to increased traffic and what it brings.

Kendig said he just can’t accept a Dollar General store going up across the street. For weeks now, he has watched construction crews clear the property and start working.

Jack Kendig and Shelby Brown

Jack Kendig and Shelby Brown

Neighbors who believe the new store would negatively impact their community created a Stop Dollar General Facebook page to share their concerns. It has attracted hundreds of people who now support neighbors’ efforts to keep the store out of their community.

Kendig and others said their biggest concern is safety.

The site plan approved by the county in August has no provisions for a Route 301 turn lane onto Pine Ridge Road where the store entrance will be -- and VDOT doesn’t plan to add one.

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The Stop Dollar General Facebook page.

“The increased traffic turning in here to the Dollar General and the traffic from a new sports complex here will be totally unmanageable," Emilie Harlow explained.

Kendig said last year he saw three different accidents right in front of his home where the store will go up. He said a few of the crash victims ended up in the ditch in front of his home and one on his lawn.

A VDOT spokesperson said in the past three years there have been nine crashes within 500 feet of the Route 301/Pine Ridge Road intersection. Every day about 8,200 cars travel that stretch of 301 near Jack’s home. Another 350 per day travel Pine Ridge.

That road leads to Jennifer Clements’ home and a newly built sports complex. Clements and other neighbors believe the store just doesn’t belong there.

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A spokesperson for Dollar General and a rep from the county said the property was zoned for business use back in 1975 and the company completed every step of the approval process.

Still neighbors said they don’t think their voices and their concerns are being taken seriously.

“I don’t understand why they would go to the expense of building a facility when they know everyone in the vicinity is opposed to it. It makes no sense," Clements said.

Dollar General reps said the store will open in the early spring.