SALINE COUNTY, Ark. — Plans to put a Dollar General on a piece of property in the Saline County community of East End are meeting resistance from homeowners there.
“It's not like it's further down the road. That would have been nice. If it was, that would be even better if it wasn't just right here,” said Marcia Brown, who moved to a stately ranch home 10 years ago looking for some elbow room.
Signs put up across the private dirt road in front of her house indicate a Dollar General was indeed planned for right there.
“We actually have a Dollar General located 1.9 miles away from this current property,” she said, holding up a phone with at least seven stores arrayed on a locator map.
“It's not like we don't already enjoy the conveniences of having a Dollar General, a Family Dollar, Edward's Food Giant. We have plenty of resources close by,” she said.
A company called Bright Properties owns the lot across from North Kaufman Road. They rent the one house on it now and it's easy to envision more houses subdividing the land at some point.
Thursday evening, the company hopes to convince the Saline County Planning Board that a Dollar General belongs just off U.S. Highway 167.
Brown hopes to convince the board otherwise.
She and her neighbors are not anti-development. There’s a business across the lot and an HVAC service company right next door. But, a dollar store with 500 customers a day going down the dirt road and aiming headlights into homes as they turn into the planned lot, is not what they signed up for and not something they plan to stand for.
“What we're hoping to do is to get our neighbors and our community to kind of rally behind us,” she said.
Other neighbors are involved in a lawsuit with Bright Properties. Attorneys for the owner weren’t available when we asked for comment Tuesday. Last week, a judge refused to hold up the planning board process by making the parties wait for that case to be settled.
The Browns are not suing, but instead, they're calling out for support on Facebook. Her post calling for folks to join her had 100 shares in just 12 hours.
“It's not that our community is needing another in this area. We certainly aren't,” Brown said.
The board meeting begins at 5:30 p.m. Thursday in the Saline County Courthouse in Benton.
Clay Ford, a civil attorney for the county, said all the board is typically tasked to do is determine if a development is legal and fits with the county master plan. As unincorporated land, it is not subject to any zoning restrictions.