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Montezuma County Planning & Zoning Commission Voted Against a new Dollar General Store

Photo of possible site of a Dollar General on Road N by LKY

By Lori York

On March 14, 2024 the Planning and Zoning Commission looked at the “High Impact Permit Application” submitted by Leaf Properties, Inc for a Dollar General to be placed at 27078 Road N, Dolores. According to the property owner he wants to use 1.2 acres of a 3.78-acre parcel for the store location.  This parcel already has a house on it.

This hearing was standing room only, with over 100 citizens attending.  The commissioners allowed only a small number to speak, but all spoke against the project.  The concerns were many:

1.   Public health and safety impact due to traffic issues. A study had been done on traffic around other dollar stores that showed a very large increase in traffic.  Several people mentioned how dangerous the intersection was under icy conditions.

2.   Several citizens spoke on the expected decrease in their property values.

3.   One person questioned WHY we need another Dollar Store, when we already have 3 in Cortez.

4.   Citizens also complained about light pollution, possible increase in crime, noise, and trash pollution.

5.  Other citizens commented that they felt this project was not good for maintaining the rural character of our county.

Even Sheriff Nowlin spoke against the project, concerned over traffic increases causing congestion and the possibility of  aggravated drivers taking chances.

All the commissioners commented that they agreed with the citizens’ concerns and spoke mainly about changing the rural character, the impact on property values, and the increase in traffic.

 The owner of the property spoke about his rights, since the area was zoned commercial around the year 2000, and that is why he bought the property.  He also stated that CDOT had done a traffic count and did not find that this was a public safety problem. The owner expected CDOT to issue a permit within a week.

Despite the owner’s comments the P & Z commission voted unanimously to not recommend this project to the County Commissioners.  This vote ended with loud applause from the audience.

Note: the owner still has the right to petition the County Commissioners to approve the project.

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