Camby neighborhood leverages fight to stop Dollar General

CAMBY, Ind. (WISH) — A neighborhood in Morgan County is in the fight of its life over a proposed new development.

“Small businesses are really taking a punch these days as more of the corporate giants come into play; a lot of us small people are really feeling the hit,” said Betty Daniels, the third generation owner of Daniels Market in Camby.

Dollar General is looking to build a new location directly next door to Daniels Market.

“To us, they’re kind of pretty much wanting to feed off of all our years of blood, sweat and tears,” Daniels said.

She’s operated at Hadley Road and Earls Lane for 43 years. They have relatively inexpensive gas, fresh made pizza to go and everything else you could get from the old-school corner stores from the past.

Almost the same stuff as Dollar General.

The lot is also at the entrance of a residential subdivision.

“I’m going to be looking out my front door to the back of the building and semi trucks and a fence,” said Annette Hart, who’s lived across the street from the now-empty lot for 24 years.

Also directly across the street is North Madison Elementary School.

“Basically, they’re forcing the business on to the lot,” said Pete Majeski, who’s lived nearby for 24 years. “It would change this area greatly, and not for the better.”

A spokesman for Dollar General said in a statement that 70 percent of its stores are in neighborhoods with less than 20,000 people.

But to build in the Camby lot, the developer had to apply for two zoning variances; one because the lot size isn’t big enough to build the Dollar General, and the other because there won’t be enough parking according to county guidelines.

“Virtually every homeowner in this entire area is against Dollar General from coming to this location,” Majeski said.

“We have three other dollar-type stores in the area,” said Karla Hench, who’s lived in the area for 20 years. “Why do we need a fourth one in our neighborhood?”

Also in their statement, Dollar General said:  “We believe our developer has carefully followed the process and all guidelines set forth by Morgan County in developing and pursuing the required entitlements for the Camby store location.”

They said that includes building codes and parking space requirements.

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