At its regular meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 12, the Tulare County Planning Commission approved a special use permit and final site plan for a 9,100 square-foot Dollar General store five miles southwest of Springville. The company’s 13th store in Tulare County will be located on a 1.34 acre parcel on the north side of Highway 190 at the intersection with Montgomery Drive.
The vote to approve was 3-1 with commissioner Elliott the only dissenting vote. Commissioners Whitlatch, Millies, and Gong were recused owing to real estate dealings with the applicant, Embree Asset Group of Phoenix, Ariz.
The Springville Dollar General will be the first of the company’s stores to be built in the Tulare County foothills. There are 12 Dollar General stores open in Tulare County on the valley floor and another planned for Orosi.
There was a petition presented against the project with hundreds of signatures, mostly from River Island and Springville residents. One letter, written by Douglas McIntosh, a Springville resident who surveyed the property for cultural resources, commented that the proposed Dollar General, located next to a U.S. Forest Service office, would not be compatible with existing uses of the property. A site nearby, McIntosh suggested, with vacant storefronts that could be redeveloped would be a better fit for a Dollar General.
Ron Marangi, who lives on River Island Drive near the subject property, wrote a letter in favor of the project. Marangi wrote:
“My wife and I own 35 commercial and residential properties in the Springville area. We have over 100 tenants in our various properties. All of these folks would benefit from the establishment of a general merchandise store of the caliber of Dollar General. A large number of these people have limited incomes and transportation concerns which a Dollar General type store could help solve.”
There have been several inquiries to local property owners and realtors by agents looking for a suitable site for a Dollar General in Three Rivers. To date, a developer has not submitted a site plan or proposal to the county to build a local Dollar General. The closest existing Dollar General to Three Rivers is located in Woodlake, 16 miles away.