Petition Seeks To Keep Dollar General Out Of New Salem Community On Lookout Mountain As Dollar General Market, Ante-Bellum Event Venue Are Planned

Tuesday, June 18, 2019
Stan Carnahan with plans for ante-bellum home to be built for event hall on Lookout Mountain
Stan Carnahan with plans for ante-bellum home to be built for event hall on Lookout Mountain

A petition is seeking to keep Dollar General out of the New Salem community on Lookout Mountain.

It comes as Stan Carnahan said a new Dollar General store as well as an event venue in a replica of an ante-bellum home are planned there.

Mr. Carnahan said the projects are to go on a 10-acre tract across from the Canyon Grill.

It is at the intersection of Highway 136 that goes across the mountain from Trenton to LaFayette and Highway 189 that goes down the mountain.

The petition, that is on the Plum Nelly Community Preservation website, has 134 signees thus far.

It says, "The New Salem Community, also known as Plum Nelly, is a treasure on Lookout Mountain.  This is the quaint, quiet home of the Cloudland Canyon State Park and the New Salem Arts Festival.

"We seek to preserve the unique qualities of our community by patronizing the small businesses owned by those who live here and limiting the light pollution of street lights and “security” lights on homes and businesses which obscure the night sky that so many who live here or come to the park to enjoy.

"Dollar General seeks to undermine our country community by building a store in the center.  We wish to remind Dollar General that there are four other Dollar General stores and a Fred’s store within a 5 to 10 mile radius of us and we do not need or want another such store in our midst.  Should we need anything they have to offer that we cannot buy locally, we will gladly drive the 5 to 10 miles to buy it in order to maintain the sweet integrity of our neighborhood.

"Please sign this petition to let Dollar General and any other chain store know that we do not want them in our community."

The property is in Dade County, which does not have zoning. 

Mr. Carnahan said he owns the property along with Perry Voclain and Mike Smelcher. The trio has operated Chattanooga Auction House for over two decades, but is closing it. They now operate the Mountain Top Cafe at the former Geneva's Restaurant nearby to the 10 acres.

Mr. Carnahan said they did not want the traditional Dollar General design, given the central location on the scenic mountaintop. He said the plan is to use an upscale design aimed at blending better into the landscape.

He said the design that will be used was the one used for Hilton Head, S.C.

It will be a Dollar General market that features fresh produce and other expanded grocery items. 

Mr. Carnahan said the back 8.5 acres will be for the new event venue, hosting weddings and other special occasions.

He said he earlier built an old Southern mansion at Ooltewah based on a mansion that still stands at Franklin, Tn. He said the same plans will be used for the Lookout Mountain project. 

  


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