Michele Smith, a resident of the area near Putney where a new Mike's Country Store is expected to be built, uses a laser-pointer to show commissioner's her family's property on a map Monday. Smith said that she's fine with the store locating adjacent to her property, but has concerns about what impact the additional traffic into the area may have.
ALBANY, Ga. — Residents of southern Dougherty County could soon have a new grocery store nearby, if a zoning request clears the Dougherty County Commission.
Richard Mike Rogers, the owner of Mike’s Country Store, has asked the planning commission and the Dougherty County Commission to rezone property at 2301 and 2311 Liberty Expressway from Community Residential Multiple-Dwelling to General Mixed-Use Business District to allow for the construction of a new general store at the site.
The planning commission recommended approval of Rogers’ application, which must now clear the Dougherty County Commission before construction can begin.
Rogers’ currently owns and operates Mike’s Country Store on Philema Road in Lee County. If approved, the store in Putney would be his first store in Dougherty County.
District 6 Commissioner Jack Stone said that Putney greatly needs some kind of grocery store.
“You know, anybody in Putney now, if they need a piece of meat or any kind of vegetable whatsoever, they have to come all the way to town to get any kind of groceries and with gas at $3.50-$3.60 a gallon it is pretty doggone expensive,” Stone said. “I’m hoping we can get this thing approved; get it done and get it out there in Putney so we can save the people a little bit of money.”
Not everyone was convinced that the store was a great idea, however.
Michele Smith, a resident of Dougherty County who owns land adjacent to where the store is set to be built, told commissioners that she was concerned about the additional traffic the store may bring to the neighborhood and wanted some degree of assurance from the commission that a barrier would be built between the store and her property when construction begins.
“I know it’s been said that there won’t be a major impact on the traffic, but I know there have been multiple accidents on Nelms Road ... I’m not against the store or anything, but I just see traffic problems,” Smith said.
Staffers from the planning department said that traffic will likely increase in the area, but that traffic studies predict that it will be below what would be considered a public safety hazard.
Commissioners didn’t vote on the matter Monday. Instead, it will come back up for discussion at the county’s next work session and then for a vote likely within the next two weeks.