Kalani Steinmetz | Staff Writer
A large crowd of Larchwood residents attended a public hearing on a rezoning application for Groeneweg Family Farms 1 LLC from A2 to C1 for possible construction of a Dollar General store and other commercial options during last week’s Board of Supervisors meeting. Jacob Stoffer, member of the Overland Group and developer of the property and the facility, spoke on behalf of Dollar General. “We’re proposing to rezone approximately two net acres just south of Larchwood for the purpose of building a 7,500-square-foot Dollar General facility.” Concerns raised by the Larchwood crowd consisted mainly of the business owners and landowners that would be affected by the change, taxes, traffic, store expansion and the definition of zoning itself and how it could possibly attract more unwanted retailers.
“You’re going to cannibalize us,” stated a Larchwood resident. “I just know it.” When the supervisors were asked for their statement, Merle Koedam and Mark Behrens stated that, while retailers might hurt local business, it is, however, imperative to conform to changing times and invite new businesses into the county. “Me, as a supervisor, to be against this … I wouldn’t be doing my job; that’s my job. We gotta have new businesses,” said Merle. “I’ve got a friend in Sioux County; he loves competition. He said ‘Bring ‘em on … competition helps my business grow.’ And he’s done really, really well in his lifetime. We gotta have competition.”
The Groenewegs had also attended the meeting but they didn’t have a statement as far as whether they wanted the zoning to be pushed through. They said they attended the meeting to learn what the zoning would entail. Due to the lengthy deliberation, the board decided to table its decision until the next meeting.
The board approved moving forward with addressing the issue of a parking lot sinkhole at the annex as well as a cigarette permit for Tri-State Golf, the city of George’s street closure request for Freedom Days, law enforcement contracts for the city of George and the city of Doon for the 2018-2019 fiscal year and the DNR Master Matrix approval letter for the Alex Kruse Confinement.
The next meeting of the Lyon County Board of Supervisors will be Monday, July 9.