Public hearing set on annexation request

By Tom Joyce -

Mount Airy is poised to become a little larger, though not by much, based on an annexation request being certified for property at Holly Springs targeted for a new Dollar General store.

And citizens are invited to weigh in on that request during a public hearing scheduled on April 21 during a 7 p.m. meeting of the Mount Airy Board of Commissioners.

The stage for this was set during the board’s last meeting on Thursday, when it approved both the setting of next week’s hearing and accepted a certificate of sufficiency for a petition for voluntary annexation filed by Venture Properties. This came after an investigation of that petition by the city clerk which included a finding that it was signed by all owners of the Holly Springs site in question.

Venture Properties is a Wilkesboro firm that is developing the new Dollar General store at 123 Airport Road on a 1.2-acre tract.

Since that land is not contiguous to the primary corporate limits of Mount Airy, taking it in would constitute a case of satellite annexation, which is sometimes frowned upon by government officials.

In addition to annexation, the matter under consideration in Mount Airy includes rezoning the Holly Springs property from HB (Highway Business-Surry County) to B-4, the city’s highway business designation.

The request for voluntary annexation by Venture Properties is aimed at allowing the new Dollar General Store to access nearby water and sewer utility services from the city of Mount Airy.

Municipal policy allows businesses to receive water service without being annexed, but hooking up to the sewer service requires them to petition for voluntary annexation.

Originally, the Wilkesboro firm sought a waiver for that requirement, presumably to prevent both city and county property taxes from being levied on the new Dollar General store.

However, the city commissioners denied the waiver request in February, which was consistent with what has been done in previous cases.

The request for voluntary annexation and the rezoning to B-4 have been approved unanimously by the Mount Airy Planning Board.

Assuming that the commissioners follow suit, the planned Dollar General store will become part of a retail chain that includes more than 11,500 outlets nationwide.

Dollar General stores typically employ six to 10 people.

Tom Joyce may be reached at 336-415-4693 or on Twitter @Me_Reporter.

By Tom Joyce

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