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Woman objects to proposed Family Dollar in Spring Hill

Published:   |   Updated: February 16, 2014 at 12:02 PM

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SPRING HILL - Family Dollar, Dollar Tree and Dollar General stores are popping up at intersections throughout Hernando County.

But Lucille Morano is not a fan of one under construction near the northwest corner of Deltona and Forest Oaks boulevards.

Morano said it is a little too close to her home, located near the area that was being cleared of trees and brush Wednesday morning. The county had to move some state-protected gopher tortoises on the site.

"Who's going to relocate me?" Morano asked county commissioners at Tuesday's meeting.

Morano fears that without the trees and shrubs acting as a natural reservoir for rain, the water will run off onto her property from the paved parking lot.

Not only will animal habitats be destroyed but also her own serenity will be disturbed by the store's patrons, she said.

"I just want peace and tranquility for myself and other people in the neighborhood," said Morano, who said she believes the county didn't do enough to communicate with residents about the project beforehand.

Assistant County Administrator Ron Pianta said the site already was zoned for such a project. The property went through the development review inspection process and the store must comply with various conditions.

County Commissioner Nick Nicholson asked staffers to look into Morano's water run-off worries because many homes back up to the new store.

Located in a large residential area, the Spring Hill site meets the demographic criteria for the chain, said Charlie Aldrich, construction manager with Hunt Real Estate Services, Family Dollar's developer.

The 8,320-square-foot store will employ 15 to 20 people and will join four other Family Dollars in Hernando, including its most recent location near Spring Hill Boulevard and Marble Avenue.

Aldrich said many people prefer the convenience of the smaller stores for inexpensive household needs. The economy also is driving expansion of the chain, he said.

North Carolina-based Family Dollar has 7,600 stores in 45 states and 50,000 employees nationwide. Its core customer is a female head of household in her mid-40s who makes less than $40,000 annually, according to the chain's website.

Morano was also worried the new store would block fire department vehicles leaving a station on Bob Hartung Court. Bob Hartung will align with another road directly across Forest Oaks Boulevard heading into the new Family Dollar.

But Patricia Spaar, a building department official who reviewed the plan, said there is enough clearance to allow fire trucks to safely enter and exit.

Not everyone is upset. Pat Anderson said she understands some of the residents' concerns, especially those of homeowners whose properties will be affected.

But Anderson, who lives several blocks away, said the store should not be a problem. She welcomes a Family Dollar because she dislikes shopping in larger grocery or department stores.

"I prefer the smaller stores," Anderson said. "That's just me."

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