A rendering shows what the Dollar General would look like off Highway 51 in Ridgeland. The city board recently denied plans unless the company makes revisions to the business’ entrance.
A rendering shows what the Dollar General would look like off Highway 51 in Ridgeland. The city board recently denied plans unless the company makes revisions to the business’ entrance.
RIDGELAND — City officials say the architectural review and a site plan for a proposed Dollar General on Highway 51 will have to undergo revisions on the entrance before they will approve the project.

City officials voted 6-1 to deny the site plan and architectural review for a proposed Dollar General store on the grounds that it needed to implement a safer entrance to the store. Ward 5 Alderman Scott Jones was the lone “nay” vote in his last meeting as a city alderman.

Public Works Director Mike McCollum recommended a right-in/right-out entrance and exit. A right-in/right-out means anyone who wants to access the store will have to approach the store in the right hand lane and turn in, likewise the only way to leave the property is to turn right. This is usually accomplished by a triangle shaped concrete median at the entrance that discourages turning in from the left and turning left to leave.

“There is really no question that this increases safety. I don’t think we should put people at risk when we don’t have to,” McCollum said.

Jones said that he did not think it was fair to hold a new business to a standard that was not enforced at similar businesses on Highway 51. He also said that, though no Dollar General representative were at the meeting and had not made contact with city officials on Tuesday, he felt they had implied that additional demands like this could be a deal breaker.

Alderman-at-Large D.I. Smith said that he felt the high traffic of a convenience store would put undue pressure on someone to make a dangerous decision trying to make a left turn to leave the store.

Ward 2 Alderman Chuck Gautier said that he would be more than happy to give Dollar General further consideration if they brought forth plans that included a right-in/right-out style entrance and exit.

Another set of site plans were approved on the consent agenda for Gilchrist Donnell Law Offices’ new building on Steed Road.

Officials also approved a petition and application for a conditional use permit for the International Church of God of Prophecy to operate at 409 Orchard Park.

Mayor Gene F. McGee closed out last week’s meeting after a brief executive session where no action was taken to thank Jones for his time on the board.

“I wanted to mention that this is our last meeting with Alderman Scott Jones,” McGee said. “I just wanted to extend my gratitude to Scott for his years of service.”

McGee went on to say that he knows Jones will continue to be involved in the city.

Jones held the Ward 5 seat for about 20 years. He was defeated in the municipal primary by challenger Bill Lee by slim margin of 144 to 150.

Jones said that he loved the city of Ridgeland were he has been a resident for about 40 years.

“I just want to say how much I have enjoyed building a relationship, with each of you and the city staff,” Jones said.

He went on to say that he looked forward to many more years of involvement with the city.

Lee will be sworn in along with other city officials on July 2 at Colonial Heights Baptist Church at 2 p.m.