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The Upstate Economy

Town of Hounsfield approves Dollar General on Route 3

Julia Botero
WRVO news
A lawyer for Boo Wells argues on her behalf to the Hounsfield Town Planning Board on why a Dollar General should not be build next door to her home.

The Hounsfield Town Planning Board voted unanimously last night to allow Dollar General to build a store on Route 3, near the village of Sackets Harbor. Residents who both oppose and support the development came to the meeting to voice their opinions Tuesday evening. After a heated exchange of viewpoints, many residents walked out. Others stayed and interrupted the board’s review of the Dollar General's site plans.

Terry Zumbaw owns a trout farm adjacent to where the Dollar General will be built. He said the Planning Board and the Dollar General developer are not hearing his concern that runoff from the store’s parking lot could contaminate his pond. He said he asked the Dollar General developers to build a berm to help control runoff.

“While I realize they are going to build the store, I have begged them and sent them a letter and I'll be sending another one. I am offering the dirt to make the berm that will take any extra runoff out around my pond. It will still end up on my property but it won’t destroy my pond,” Zumbaw said.

Yvonne Podvin, chair of the Hounsfield town planning board, says Dollar General already has a plan for how they will control storm runoff. She said other concerns like light pollution and noise from the store aren’t great enough to justify barring the project.

“Most of what was said tonight or the letters we received were personal opinions. They had nothing to do with the law or our zoning. But the lady that kept interrupting me, Carol Hills, I told her Dollar General is in the comprehensive plan as something that is needed in our town," Podvin said.

Podvin said most against the Dollar General live in the village of Sackets Harbor. She said the Dollar General will not affect the village. Instead it will replace vacant property with new development -– a move she sees as a positive for Hounsfield.