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Residents oppose proposed Family Dollar

By Rose Laudicina
Staff Writer
Typically when somebody new moves into a neighborhood, current residents are welcoming. But this is hardly the situation on Alabama Avenue in Carrboro, where neighbors are joining together in an attempt to prevent a Family Dollar store from taking residence.

“It will completely destroy this neighborhood,” Alabama Avenue resident Larry Worth said.

The store would be located off Jones Ferry Road, between The Pantry and Morningstar Mini-Storage, on a small wooded piece of land at the entrance to Alabama Avenue.

At around 8,000 square feet, accompanied by 26 parking spaces, and with the entrance off Alabama Avenue, residents worry that the store would bring increased traffic, noise pollution and unsafe conditions to their neighborhood.

Will Stronach of Stronach Properties, the developers of the project, said they believe the store will be a “positive addition to the community and will provide a much-needed service to the citizens while creating tax revenue for the town.”

However, neighbors say the store won’t bring anything positive or needed to the area because there is already a dollar store located in Carrboro Plaza less than 2 miles away.

“I don’t see why we need another dollar store,” said Rebecca Bennett, a resident of Alabama Avenue.

“It’s a lower-income type of business, and just because this is a low-income area doesn’t mean we deserve this. We don’t deserve this any more than a rich neighborhood does,” she said.

Residents are also upset with what they are calling a lack of respect from Stronach Properties for having presented plans to town advisory boards without any contact with or input from the neighborhood.

“They never sat down with us,” Anissa McLendon said. “They just said, ‘We’re going to clean up your neighborhood,’ but we never asked them to do that.”

McLendon has been spearheading the neighborhood’s efforts against the store. Her property is adjacent to the site of the proposed store; the dumpsters for the building, she said, will be located about 36 feet from her bedroom window.

Stronach said plans include thoughtful landscaping to minimize the impact on the residential area.

“We have designed screens and buffers to minimize disturbance,” he said. “We have worked really hard to ensure the development is attractive.”

Aware that some might accuse them of being against the store because of NIMBYism (Not In My Backyard), residents say they aren’t opposed to something being built in the vacant space as long as it doesn’t harm the community’s feel.

“We want something here that will help the neighborhood and will enhance Alabama Avenue,” resident Phyllis Bland said. “We have no problem with something built here as long as it is a win-win for everybody.”

McLendon has been collecting input from all neighbors about what they would rather see built on the land; suggestions so far have ranged from a police substation to a day-care center or park.

Stronach Properties said they are finishing up the planning phase, and have yet to submit an application to the town.

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