Dollar General likely coming near Fort Meade after land-code changes

Dollar General likely coming near Fort Meade after land-code changes
Dollar General likely coming near Fort Meade after land-code changes

A change in the comprehensive land use plan for unincorporated Polk County could usher in a dollar store right away for a rural crossroads outside Fort Meade — and across the road from an existing convenience store.

The ordinance was recommended by county planning staff because allowing commercial nodes in rural intersections “will meet the needs of residents, seasonal populations and travelers on the county’s network of roads.”

Further, the development pattern in Polk County has changed since its comprehensive plan was adopted in 1991, a staff report said.

County commissioners unanimously approved the text change after a hearing and vote April 16. The first hearing before the County Commission was in February, but it has also cleared other bureaucratic hurdles.

Representatives at the Florida Commerce Department sent a letter March 26 to the county stating it had no objections, recommendation nor comments about the change. And during a Planning Commission hearing on Jan. 3, that panel had unanimously recommended approval of the change.

Across the road from Fowler’s Grocery on some pastureland at the T-junction of Brooke Road and US 98, a proposed Dollar General, which sells groceries, is planned less than two weeks after the change to the county’s comprehensive plan.

The proposed store would be nearly 15 miles away from the closest Publix supermarket in Bartow, about a 20-minute drive.

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The Dollar General 30149 project team met with the Polk County planning department’s Development Review Commission during its April 25 session. The DRC is typically the first stop in the land development process and before further approval by county staff and its boards.

The 10,640-square-foot commercial retail store will be on 1.69 acres and have its own potable well, septic tank and drain field, DRC said. The site will be developed to have its own stormwater management infrastructure and fire tanks for fire protection. County property records show the land is currently owned by Sun Grown Citrus LLC.

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