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Dollar General looks to add location on the Mountain posted on 04/01/2020

A new Dollar General Store could appear in Welches sometime in the next four years, following approval of the design proposal by Clackamas County late last year.

“The development is free to move forward meeting these conditions,” said county Senior Planner Martha Fritzie. She added the design review process was past the appeal period which ended in December.

The addition of the Dollar General has received some criticism from local residents who feel the county is leaving community voices out of development decisions. Notice of the application was sent to property owners within 300 feet of the intended development’s property lines.

“We need to change the zoning laws so that when the community is going to be impacted there is public notice, preferably written up in the paper,” said Meredith Sanders, a Welches resident for 16 years. “We don’t get a say in what’s going on with development on our mountain.”

The approximately 7,500 square foot retail store will be constructed at 70140 E. Hwy. 26 on a parcel of land zoned for Rural Tourist Commercial (RTC) use.

Retail stores are permitted as a primary use on property zoned RTC in the Clackamas County Zoning and Development Ordinance (ZDO).

“If the code allows for certain uses then the use is simply permitted,” said county Senior Planner Glen Hamburg. “The area for the proposed development has been zoned RTC for a long time.”

The future sight of the Dollar General Store is bordered to the east and west by other RTC properties, one of which is a Subway restaurant. The property is bordered to the south by Hoodland Park and across Hwy. 26 to the north by properties zoned for residential use.

The application to develop the retail space for the Dollar General Store was submitted to the county’s planning and zoning department’s design review committee by Brad Krem of Embree Asset Group and Scott Franklin of PacLand. Representatives from the Embree Group did not respond for a request for comment in time for publication.

The Clackamas County website states the purpose of design review is to “ensure developments meet the needs of the community by complying with all applicable codes and zoning regulations.”

The design review committee determined that the design for the retail space complied with all applicable codes and zoning regulations and approved the plan for the store under the condition that the land use follows plans filed with the county on Oct. 7, 2019, participate in a “post land use transition” meeting, and submit a statement of use form to calculate applicable System Development Charges prior to applying for building permits.

More information about the design for the new Dollar General Store is available online at https://www.clackamas.us/planning/designreview.html. More information about county zoning is available at https://www.clackamas.us/planning/zdo.html.

By Ben Simpson/MT

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