1,100+ Sign Petition against Egg Harbor Dollar General

UPDATE: The Town of Egg Harbor has cancelled the Nov. 5 public hearing for the Dollar General proposal due to COVID-19 concerns. The town announced that the meeting will be rescheduled in a manner to benefit public safety, but has not set a date.

Heading into a Nov. 5 public hearing for a proposed Dollar General store in the Town of Egg Harbor, an online petition has been signed by more than 1,100 people who are not interested in having the bargain chain store’s presence in northern Door County.

Developer Peter Oleszczuk of Midwest Property Development is proposing a 9,100-square-foot store on a 2.5-acre parcel of vacant land where Highway 42 meets Hillside Road, just south of the Egg Harbor Fun Park. 

Hoping to encourage members of the public who do not favor the project to reach out to the Town of Egg Harbor’s board and Plan Commission members, a committee calling itself Eggs against Dollar General created the online petition and is promoting letter writing, phone calling and attendance at the town board’s public hearing, which is set for Nov. 5, 6 pm, at the Egg Harbor Town Hall.

Recognizing that COVID-19 issues could make in-person attendance problematic, the committee has also asked the town to postpone the hearing until it’s able to offer a virtual opportunity for the public to voice its will or to provide a larger, safer meeting site. As of Wednesday, Town Clerk Pam Krauel said the meeting was still scheduled as planned.

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Concerns about the project include the appropriateness of the chain store’s big-box presence in Egg Harbor, a negative impact on locally owned businesses, numerous traffic-safety concerns at the intersection of Highway 42 and Hillside Road, and the effect of the store on the night sky.

It’s all happening too fast, according to Egg Harbor resident Meg Stapleton, with the process “not giving people time to digest this plan.”

Stapleton started the online petition to “Stop Dollar General from Building in Town of Egg Harbor” that, as of Tuesday, had collected 1,133 signatures.

The preliminary site plan submitted to the Egg Harbor Town Board shows 30 parking spaces for the store, which is set back about 112 feet from the highway. Its main entrance is from Hillside Road.

Stapleton lives on Hillside Road about a half mile from the proposed development. She said it’s already difficult to exit onto Highway 42, particularly for campers at the Frontier Wilderness Campground on Hillside Road, even without the Dollar General entrance so close to Highway 42. 

This preliminary site plan shows how a Dollar General store would be situated on a vacant, 2.5-acre lot within the Town of Egg Harbor if the town approves the plans. The site is just south of the Egg Harbor Fun Park. Source: Town of Egg Harbor.

The committee that’s opposed to the chain store foresees dangerous challenges for semi-trucks and larger campers, traffic backups and bottlenecks. There is also a blind spot caused by a hill on Hillside Road east of the proposed Dollar General driveway that could make ingress and egress dangerous, Stapleton said.

“We would like to see a traffic study of that intersection done,” Stapleton said.

The Town of Egg Harbor does not have its own zoning code and did not adopt Door County zoning. Its ordinances pertaining to the development would be those governing building permits and architectural controls that address items such as minimum lot sizes, height, setbacks and impervious surface ratios.

The Architectural Control Commission, made up of the town’s Plan Commission members, would examine the application to ensure compliance with town and state standards pertaining to items such as character, landscape design and lighting. That meeting would come after the public hearing. Currently, the Plan Commission is scheduled to meet Nov. 9, 6 pm, at the town hall.

The developer is the same one who went before the Sister Bay Plan Commission in December 2019 with a plan that did not meet the village’s green-space requirements. The commission sent the developer away from that meeting with a list of changes to make. The developer could have presented a new plan to the Sister Bay Plan Commission in January of this year, but he did not return. 

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