Proposed Fort Smith Dollar General Location Causes Controversy

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FORT SMITH (KFSM) — Fort Smith city leaders unanimously passed a proposal Tuesday (Oct. 3) night that will allow a Dollar General to be built near Fianna Hills, which is one of Fort Smith’s more affluent neighborhoods.

“The location they’re talking about, to me is the wrong demographics for the clientele,” resident David Coon said.

City leaders considered rezoning two acres of land at Highway 253 and Durham Ave. from residential to commercial. This will allow a Dollar General to be built in that space. People in Fianna Hills have mixed reactions about the possibility of the store coming to the area.

“It definitely seems out of place,” Coon said.

Coon is one of three people in Fianna Hills who told 5NEWS he is against the Dollar General being built outside the neighborhood.

“[There’s] nothing wrong with that store,” he said. “It’s just the wrong location.”

Kevin Stokes and nearly a dozen others 5NEWS asked said they are all for the new store.

“It’s fine with me,” Stokes said. “It would give us another place to go in case you have to go somewhere really quick. I think it’ll be essential.”

A couple who didn’t want to go on camera said the city already has enough Dollar Generals, but Stokes said a store right outside his neighborhood would be beneficial.

“If my wife says ‘hey we need something’ in the middle of the day, we can just go to the Dollar General close by and get it.”

Coon said he hopes the board will factor the location into their decision.

“I just hope the board thinks it through and uses good common sense that stores survive by being in the right location,” Coon said.

The city planning commission said if the rezoning is approved, the land will be ready to start work right away.