Public speaks out on Dollar General rezoning application

Dollar General submitted a rezoning application to the City of Greenbush to rezone a property to use to construct one of its stores at this location in Greenbush, 403 Hwy 32 S. The public spoke out at a public hearing on March 6 to discuss this rezoning and the Greenbush City Council will make its decision to accept or not accept this rezoning request at its regular meeting on Monday, March 20. (photo by Ryan Bergeron)

Greenbush community members and business owners filled the Greenbush Community Center on Monday, March 6, to express their thoughts, questions, and opinions at a city public hearing. Why? They were there to attend a public hearing regarding a Dollar General rezoning application to rezone a property to use to construct one of its stores in Greenbush, at 403 Hwy 32 S.  

A representative from the Greenbush city engineer Widseth Smith Nolting, Tony Palcich, Mayor Brenda Sather, City Clerk Anita Locken, and city council members were on hand to answer questions and listen to and address concerns. The city sought the public’s input in relation to these  eight criteria (below), courtesy of its zoning ordinance, for granting the rezoning request.

1.) That the re-zoning conforms to the Comprehensive Plan for the City, as well as present land uses.

2.) That the re-zoning will not impede the normal and orderly development and improvement of surrounding property for uses predominant in the area. 

3.) That the re-zoning will not adversely affect property values of the adjacent landowners. 

4.) That the re-zoning will not impose other hardship on adjacent landowners such as noise, electrical display signs, odors, or other nuisances.

5.) That necessary utilities be available to serve the use intended.

6.) That additional public service needed by the re-zoning be considered.

7.) That alternate areas previously zoned for the intended use be considered.

8.) That there is a public need for the proposed land use.

Several Main Street business owners voiced their thoughts on this rezoning, mentioning the impact of having a Dollar General on their business’ futures. Dean Mattson, owner of Greenbush Pharmacy, said his business depends heavily on its storefront and said that if the Dollar General does come in, Greenbush would be a community with a nursing home and clinic, but without a pharmacy.  

Certified Family Nurse Practitioner Martha Lystad at the Altru Clinic in Greenbush said that if Dollar General came, the community may not be able to maintain a clinic. 

“We’re fighting for this community to be here, to stay here,” Lystad said. 

Mayor Sather explained how if Dollar General were to build on a commercial area, the city would have no say in whether Dollar General could build. The city,  as she explained, is just examining the zoning for this store. 

Lystad said she understood this, but added, “We don’t want it to be an easy process,” saying how this store may draw away from the uniqueness of local businesses. 

Pastor LeRoy Petersen also commented on the city’s relationship to its Main Street. 

“I think it’s something we have to continue to fight for,” he said.  

At the end of the meeting, Mayor Sather said they would gather all the info presented to them and told people to share anything else they thought the city council should consider when making its decision between that point and the council’s next meeting. 

Next Meeting: The city’s next regular meeting takes places on Monday, March 20 at 5:30 pm in the Greenbush Library Conference Room. 

To see more of the story, including more reactions, read the March 15 issue of The Tribune in print or online

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