City Council OKs zoning change to proposed Dollar General site

The Jamestown City Council approved 3-2 an ordinance to amend the district map to change the zoning to a local commercial district where Dollar General plans to locate.

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People and city of Jamestown employees wait for the Jamestown City Council meeting to start.
Masaki Ova / The Jamestown Sun
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JAMESTOWN – The Jamestown City Council approved 3-2 an ordinance to amend the district map to change the zoning of a general multiple dwelling district to a local commercial district where Dollar General plans to locate at 424 4th Ave. NE.

Councilmen Dan Buchanan and David Schloegel were opposed at the meeting Monday, Nov. 5.

The City Council unanimously approved an amendment to remove wording from the ordinance to allow an access from 4th Avenue Northeast.

Dollar General requested a change in zoning from a general multiple dwelling district to a local commercial district to allow for the construction of a new retail store at 424 4th Ave. NE. The property affected is lot 1, block 1 of the Hope Apostolic Addition. The lot was replatted in 2019 when Hope Apostolic Church planned to construct a new church building on the site.

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Jamestown City Councilman David Steele, left, talks about the traffic numbers on 5th Street and 4th and 5th Avenues Northeast on Monday, Dec. 5, at City Hall in Jamestown. Also pictured are City Attorney Leo Ryan, left, and Mayor Dwaine Heinrich.
Masaki Ova / The Jaamestown Sun

The Jamestown Planning Commission recommended approval in October to change the zoning to commercial where Dollar General plans to locate. At its November meeting, the Jamestown City Council read the first reading of an ordinance to amend the district map to change the zoning. Buchanan was opposed when the Jamestown Building, Planning and Zoning Committee approved 4-1 recommending the first reading of the ordinance.


In the 2015 Land Use and Transportation Plan, lot 1, block 1 of the Hope Apostolic Addition is slated as a local commercial district. The property where the Legacy Living Center directly north of the proposed Dollar General site is located is zoned as a local commercial district, according to the city zoning map.

Jamestown resident Olivia Johnson said changing the zoning to a local commercial district requires substantial proof of economic and civic need.

“As it stands now the business for which this ordinance would be changed would not fill a strong gap in our community,” she said.

She said the location where Dollar General is planning to construct a retail store is about a half mile away from Hugo’s Family Marketplace. She said the location of the new retail store selling similar products as other stores should be in a more strategic part of Jamestown. She suggested the store should be located near Menards or in the JMS Aviation Park.

Johnson said changing the zoning suggests there is a need for more commercially-zoned land. She said there are other commercial lots in Jamestown and Stutsman County.

“While the City Council should not tell a business it can or cannot come to Jamestown, you do have the authority and the responsibility to say where it goes and when and how,” she said.

Jamestown Public School Board member Diane Hanson said she is opposed to Dollar General building at the proposed location and doesn’t have any concern about the business. She said she is concerned for the children of Lincoln Elementary School.

“ I think it (Dollar General locating in the area) would cause traffic flow problems and potentially accidents,” she said.


She said there was a near-fatal accident near the elementary school.

“I would hate to see that repeated and I know that Dollar General has talked about 10 cars per hour,” she said. “I would say there is already plenty of traffic in the area and we don’t need anymore.”

Dollar General averages about 10 vehicles per hour, said Tyler Oliver, owner of Colby Capital LLC, a preferred developer of Dollar General. He said the peak hours are from 5 to 7 p.m. and the store gets very little traffic during the morning hours.

Councilman David Steele said the peak hours of traffic on 5th Street and 4th and 5th Avenues Northeast are from 3 to 3:15 p.m. after he did an unofficial count Monday, Dec. 5, while he was observing traffic starting at 2:30 p.m. From 3 to 3:15 p.m., he said unofficially he counted 39 vehicles on 5th Street Northeast, 32 vehicles on 4th Avenue Northeast and 179 vehicles on 5th Avenue Northeast.

Buchanan said it’s an inappropriate use of the land and the council should vote against it or allow the members to study the issue further.

Schloegel said Dollar General is not generating any additional sales tax but is just redistributing it. He said the store will face competition and he doesn’t feel like people would come to Jamestown to shop at Dollar General.

“They would be shopping at other places,” he said.

Schloegel said the property is being leased. Oliver said in an email to The Jamestown Sun that “Colby Capital will own the property.”


Kamlitz said there were neighborhood grocery stores near residential areas. He said those stores give people less of a “big box” feel. He also said he doesn’t foresee any residential houses being built in that area.

Mayor Dwaine Heinrich said he doesn’t remember seeing more than 10 cars at the former dollar store that was located next to Jetstream Car Wash. He said having a store at the proposed location would be a major convenience to people who live in northeast Jamestown.

Heinrich said it would be wise to have the entrance into the store’s parking lot come from 4th Avenue Northeast. Oliver said he would be happy to put the access back on 4th Avenue Northeast as well.

The storefront will face the intersection of 5th Street and 5th Avenue Northeast. The main access to the store’s parking lot was proposed to come off of 5th Avenue Northeast, but the North Dakota Department of Transportation did not approve the submitted driveway application from 5th Avenue Northeast/N.D. Highway 20 onto the property.

The City Council approved 4-1 a special-use permit to allow the existing parking lot at 409 5th Ave. NE and 415 5th Ave. NE – near where Dollar General wants to locate – to remain a general multiple-dwelling district.

Buchanan was opposed.

Oliver requested the special-use permit. In the application, he wrote the intent is to keep and restripe the existing parking lot.

In other business, the City Council unanimously approved:

  • the hiring of part-time licensed police officers for the Jamestown Police Department. The Jamestown Police Department will look to hire four part-time licensed police officers at a rate of $35 per hour, which is the same rate as the department’s off-duty security rate. The part-time officers will not receive regular benefits and need to work a certain number of hours and do training. Hiring four part-time police officers also will help limit the number of overtime hours for the current officers.
  • the appointment of Scott Roemmich to serve as a member of the Fire Code Board of Appeals to fill an unexpired term to November 2025.
  • the appointment of Gary Staab to serve as a member of the Jamestown Regional Airport Authority to serve a five-year term that expires in December 2027. 
  • the appointment of John Grabinger to serve as a member of the Law Enforcement Center Governing Board to fill a four-year term to expire in December 2026. The appointment will also need approval from the Stutsman County Commission.
Masaki Ova joined The Jamestown Sun in August 2021 as a reporter. He grew up on a farm near Pingree, N.D. He majored in communications at the University of Jamestown, N.D.
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