Image via Flickr user Mike Mozart.

published on December 17, 2018 - 10:49 AM
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Members of the Tulare County Board of Supervisors will consider on Tuesday whether to issue a report on why they didn’t approve building a Dollar General store southwest of Springville.

Those reasons included the store proposal not meeting parameters of the county’s General Plan and environmental concerns, according to a draft version of that report.

Despite the county Planning Commission supporting the project, members of the board voted 3-2 on Dec. 11 not to approve a special-use permit for the store, proposed to be built on 1.34 acres north of Highway 190, off the Montgomery Drive intersection, in southern Tulare County.

In recent years, Dollar Generals have been built in several rural communities in the Valley, as the discount stores have found a niche providing convenient access to buy food and household items in areas where larger retail and grocery stores generally are much farther away.

Among the written findings detailing why the supervisors voted against the permit is that the store’s location isn’t consistent with the county’s Foothill Growth Management Plan — part of the General Plan — in which county officials encourage new businesses to be built within existing communities. The developer, Embree Asset Group, wants to build the Dollar General three miles outside of Springville.

Other reasons for the permit denial include:

– The county’s General Plan policy is to encourage the clustering of land uses that generate high trip volumes, especially when they can be mixed with support services and where they can be served by public transportation, and the store locale wouldn’t be supported by those services.

– County policy is to work to infill already developed areas, and the store would be built on undeveloped land.

– The site lacks access to groundwater.

– The proposed site is on federally protected wetlands with sensitive habitats for special-status species, among them is spiny-sepaled button celery.

“The Board notes that there are only 108 known occurrences of this species in total,” and putting a building on the site would threaten the celery found growing there, the supervisors’ report states.

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