County Commissioner Sabrena Smedley said Wednesday that most Apison residents like their rural way of life and do not want a new Dollar General.
She said the location of the requested store at 11156 East Brainerd Road "is right in the middle of a residential area."
Ben Berry, an engineer from Cleveland, Tn., said Apison is growing and many residents would welcome a new shopping option.
He said the location near Bill Jones Road is about a block from the old downtown Apison. He said it once had four stores, but two have been torn down and those remaining have been converted for other uses.
Mr. Berry said a petition with over 700 names on it in opposition "included people from other states and other countries." Opponents said they had to use the Change.org petition method because of current concerns about going door to door.
Commissioner Smedley said a petition with 160 in favor includes tenants and "kinfolk" of the man who wants to sell the property to Dollar General.
Mr. Berry said the store would be of rural design in keeping with the setting. It would have a residential style with a pitched roof and include brick, stone or hardie board siding.
He said the site would be screened by a 10-foot wooden fence. Opponents said sections that are under a power line could not be screened.
They said the site is near the yards of three different homes.
Commissioner Tim Boyd questioned whether the store would drain into a pond that is to the rear. Mr. Berry said the drainage goes in a different direction.
Opponents said it is just four miles to a Food City and five miles to another Dollar General.
The County Commission will vote next week on the request to go from A-1 zoning to C-2 zoning.
Both the Regional Planning Agency staff and Planning Commission recommended denial.