Plans for Dollar General remain uncertain

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Dollar General had proposed a store on the east side of Main Street (Ind. 9) between County Roads 500N and 550N in Maxwell.

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MAXWELL — Plans for a discount store in Maxwell remain uncertain.

Dollar General proposed a 10,640-square-foot location on the east side of Main Street (Ind. 9) between County Roads 500N and 550N in the unincorporated community.

For that to happen, the Hancock County Board of Commissioners would need to rezone the currently undeveloped land from a residential designation to a commercial one. The Hancock County Area Plan Commission in February sent the request to the board of commissioners with an unfavorable recommendation. Opponents cited the site’s proximity to Mom & Pop’s convenience store just down the street in Maxwell and Walmart in Greenfield.

More than 90 days have lapsed without the board of commissioners considering the rezone. Mike Dale, executive director of the plan commission, said county rules dictate that means the unfavorable recommendation stands and the rezone is rejected. He added that 12 months would have to pass before Dollar General could attempt again, but the chain could try sooner if the plan is “substantially different” from the initial attempt. Dale said he’d be the one to determine whether any subsequent submission is substantially different, but that his decision could be appealed to the plan commission.

The matter was on the board of commissioners’ agenda for May 31, although that was more than 90 days from the plan commission’s unfavorable recommendation as well, but was continued to June 21. The commissioners didn’t consider it then either, which Briane House, a lawyer representing the proposal, attributed to “various complications and the need for some statutory interpretation.”

“I will be conferring with my client and I believe we will take a different approach on this project,” House added. “I think we have an approach that will ultimately address the concerns of the various parties, and we’ll see what we can do.”

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