Kershaw denies zoning request

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Dollar General wants to relocate to Neal Street

Jesef Williams
 KERSHAW – Plans for the Dollar General store in Kershaw to move from Hampton Street have been halted, at least for now.
Kershaw Town Council voted 2-4 on Monday against a request to rezone property on Neal Street from R-15 (residential) to B-3 (business).
Councilmen Wade Hunter and Randy Seegars voted in favor of the measure. Councilman Eddie Coates was absent.
Dollar General is looking at the Neal Street property as the location for a new building, which would be about 3,000 feet larger than its existing building on Hampton Street.
But those plans bother many Neal Street residents, who are concerned about the effects of having another business so close to their homes.
Angie Helms was one of those residents who spoke out at Monday’s meeting.
The undeveloped tract in question is next to the strip of businesses on South Hampton Street. This includes Bojangles’ and Subway restaurants and Rite Aid pharmacy. Hampton Street sits on the western end of those pieces of property and Neal Street is on the eastern side.
The two streets run parallel.  
Helms believes having a Dollar General there will disturb her neighborhood. Loud noise and early-morning garbage collections are some of the concerns.
She also thinks there will be a lot of people walking near residents’ homes to get to the Dollar General.
“We want to keep our street from being visible to the retail public,” Helms said. “I don’t think anyone in this room would want businesses in front of their residential homes.”
Britt Goodson of developer Carolina Holdings said his firm is willing to work with the town to see Dollar General’s relocation wish come to fruition.
He said Carolina Holdings plans to leave 100 feet on the eastern side of the property undeveloped. That wooded area would serve as a barrier between the store and the Neal Street homes.
Goodson believes the relocation will benefit the town.
“Dollar General has been in the community a long time,” he said. “They need a new facility. We think it provides a good use for this particular location.”
Officials’ take  
Lancaster County, which handles a lot of rezoning affairs for the town, previously recommended the rezoning request be denied.
Town Administrator Tony Starnes said traffic was a concern, although no traffic study has been conducted.
Kershaw Mayor Wayne Rhodes said potential traffic problems worry him as well.
“My whole issue is the traffic,” Rhodes said. “That is the reason the county turned it down. It’s a real congested area.”
Hunter said he was “very disappointed” with Monday’s vote. He thinks some of the reasons opponents gave for the measure were not legitimate.
Residents on Monday talked about water runoff near Rite Aid that results from heavy rainfall. The water often makes its way to residential property on Neal Street.
Rite Aid has no water-retention pond, which is something Goodson said his firm can install.
“This had nothing to do with the Rite Aid water,” Hunter said about the Dollar General relocation.
Starnes said he was surprised by Monday’s vote and would like to see Dollar General relocate to the Neal Street property.
If that doesn’t happen, maybe the store can identity another piece of property in the town for its move, Starnes said.

Contact reporter Jesef Williams at (803) 283-1152