Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Hearing tonight on county's dollar-store moratorium

The DeKalb County Board of Commissioners will hold a hearing tonight on an extension of the current 45-day moratorium on new applications for "small box discount stores."

A request by the Department of Planning & Sustainability to extend the moratorium for 180 days is on the agenda for the BOC's evening zoning meeting, which begins at 6:30 p.m. It is the last item on the agenda.

The agenda published for tonight's zoning meeting states that the moratorium extension is an "Item For Decision By The Board," meaning that there would be a vote but no public hearing, contrary to an announcement on the Department of Planning & Sustainability's web site.

Acknowledging the conflicting information, Interim County Attorney Vivian Ernstes urged commissioners to hold a public hearing at tonight's zoning meeting.

(See related story, "DeKalb County dollar-store moratorium vote Tuesday")

The proposal would "extend the moratorium on the acceptance, issurance or denial of applications for the establishment or expansion of small box discount stores" through July 29, 2020.

The resolution defines “small box discount store” as a retail store that is 16,000 square feet or less in size that offers convenience shopping goods at a price lower than traditional retail stores. The definition excludes stores that contain a pharmacy, sell gasoline or diesel fuel, or primarily sell specialty food items such as meats, seafood, cheese, or oils and vinegars.