By Zack Jordan, Lake County Record-Bee, May 31, 2017
LAKE COUNTY – After reviewing and updating the Findings of Fact for the Dollar General in Middletown, the Board of Supervisors approved the document, essentially denying the appeal from Cross Development.
Lake County held a special meeting for the new Findings of Fact for Dollar General after a narrow vote found issues with the previous report. After a review of the County Zoning Ordinance, the developer’s plan cannot meet Section 54 due to the store’s design. The plan does not fit the Middletown Area Plan (MAP).
Beth Rudiger of the Middletown Area Merchant Association (MAMA) said that the new findings confirm what critics of the Dollar General store have said. She also confirmed the proposal does not meet the MAP, differing in color and building material from the zoning plan.
“We at the Middletown Area Merchant Association thank the Board for spending time reading and understanding Middletown Area Plan and listening to the members of the community, for honoring the Board’s commitment to uphold to the area plan when requested to from the community, for knowing every vote you take is not just a district decision but a county-wide decision with multiple and far-ranging effects,” Rudiger said.
She added that the Board has made her and the MAMA proud by considering each vote they make for the community and deeply considering this one and not granting the appeal for the Dollar General.
County Council Anita Grant said no new evidence about this topic can be brought to the Board by the community because the time for public input had already passed.
“I have prepared redrafted Findings to reflect the change in the Board’s decision,” Grant said. “If the Board wants to make any changes to do the document, it would have to be done on the face of the document.”
She added that any other information that the Board has read or heard cannot be added to the Findings of Fact because it would obstruct from the original findings that have been set in place.
Cross Development, the company designing the Dollar General and planning construction, will have to put in a new Design Review and bring it to the Planning Commission to make sure that all areas follow and coordinate with the Zoning Ordinance if they wish to continue working towards putting in the Dollar General in Middletown.