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Dollar General; Jefferson Street Project; York Street Parking Lot Discussed

By Lisa Wood

News Coordinator

Rockville Town Council held regular session Tuesday, July 5, at Town Hall. Members Melissa Buell and Steve Farrington were not present.

Local resident Luke Waltz, who had requested time on the agenda, gave a Power Point presentation on issues regarding three current projects. First, he discussed the upcoming Building and Zoning Appeals (BZA) meeting scheduled to take place at 4 p.m., Thursday, July 28, at Town Hall. He stated the discussion will be the commercial rezoning of 606 East Ohio Street (across from Benjamin’s Family Restaurant) for the purpose of building another Dollar General. He stated the issue is that the property is not currently commercially zoned and the adjacent neighborhood is at risk for unwanted commercial development. Waltz also stated, “We want to implement some smart business strategies.” He asked what Town Council could do to empower the BZA to do this better; that we want to support business and we care about groups like Dollar General. “Hey, we want more jobs and more tax base, that’s not a bad thing,” said Waltz. “So, supporting the workers, supporting the residents, supporting the quality of life is really good.” Waltz said we want to do that in a way that makes sense. Steps he suggested are as follows:

–Identify available properties for growth but communicating with other entities such as Partnership Parke County (PPC), Redevelopment Commission, etc., encouraging development to happen where it is supposed to and plan it ahead of time. Waltz added that the town could retain Dollar General and ‘shop our town to them’ by showing them “Because Dollar General is not bad,” he added. “I shop there all the time.”

–Adopt a Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) to be used for all future development within the town limits. Council work with Partnership Parke County to locate grant money in order to hire a Planning and Design Consultant to create that UDO tailored to the town’s specific needs and development goals. He did say that Cyndi Todd of PPC was going to speak regarding this but was unavailable due to a family issue. He explained that a UDO (a legal planning document) would combine all the ordinances that are related to such things as development, stormwater management, commercial growth, residential growth, etc.  It’s meant to help guide the town’s growth, not to restrict landowners.

For the full article, see this week’s edition of the Parke County Sentinel.

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