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The property owner has filed for new zoning, and plans show the store as a Dollar General.
The Roanoke Times | File 2012
A fire last year destroyed the General Truck Body facility in Roanoke.
Thursday, July 25, 2013
A year after a devastating fire destroyed the General Truck Body facility in northwest Roanoke, the property’s owner hopes the site will host a neighborhood store.
Floyd Williams is asking Roanoke for zoning permission to build a 9,100-square-foot store and parking lot on the westernmost third of the 3-acre parcel.
He plans to hold on to the remaining two-thirds for future residential construction, according to his application to the city.
His application said he will demolish the three remaining buildings on the site, as well as remov e concrete pads and truck bodies still there.
The application says a store would be a better fit with the neighborhood, where 13 homes abut the property. During the July 21, 2012, fire, flames as tall as 70 feet raged just a few feet from the homes, and firefighters evacuated 20 to 30 residents.
The property has been an industrial site since 1961, although the zoning back then was for duplex houses. When it was formally rezoned for industrial use in 1984, the owner at the time said it would not put in new buildings or expand the ones already there.
To clear the way for a new building, the city needs to release the owner from those promises, which is why Williams is asking for new zoning. In doing so, he is seeking a less intensive use, which makes approval of such a release easier.
Plans show the store as a Dollar General, but nothing is official, the retailer said.
The plans also call for a 5-foot-wide sidewalk along 10th Street and an 8-foot-wide buffer of plants between the store’s parking lot and neighboring homes.
The store would have four employees on site at any one time and should generate about 400 additional car trips a day. The application gave no details on any residential development.
The request is due to come before the city planning commission next month.
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