By Linda Cicoira — Accomack County Supervisor Paul Muhly, of District 4, wants Dollar General, in Mappsville, to be the great neighbor it promised to be. One step in that direction, Muhly said, would be for the business to cut its grass.
“If you drive up the highway, there are times that the grass is so high up there, you can hardly see the sign,” Muhly told the board of supervisors at a session last week. “They (Dollar General) were going to take care of everything but they don’t.”
The store was permitted to build in a residential area, Muhly said. “People take care of their yards. This corporation doesn’t do that. I wonder if we can have staff write them a regional letter.”
Muhly had not yet been elected to the board when three acres in the residential district were rezoned to business despite the protests of some local citizens and nearby business owners. Muhly spoke against it at a public hearing. “Mappsville is not mentioned in the comprehensive plan as a business center since traffic safety is an issue and there is no nearby traffic light,” he said in 2015. “Shouldn’t the vote be based on existing policies? Why make a dangerous situation worse. Vote no.”
The issue came down to choosing between businesses as a long-established market nearby was opposed. After that hearing, the board voted 6-3 in favor of the zoning change.
In another matter, Supervisor Harris Phillips, of District 5, said he is concerned about rules at county convenience centers and wants the facilities to be “more convenient for people so trash doesn’t end up on the side of the roads.”
As a very accessible shop owner in Parksley, Phillips said people often come to him with their woes. “I’m getting a lot of complaints about convenience centers or lack thereof,” he said.
First, someone came to his business and said he was told he was not permitted to take trash to the center that wasn’t put in a bag. “That was taken care of,” said Phillips. Then, “someone had 20 bags and were told they brought too many,” said Phillips, adding, “Got rid of that.” Then he was told “People can’t use the convenience center more than once a day. Who is making these policies up?” Phillips wanted to know.
Supervisor Ron Wolff, of District 2, is chairman of the solid waste committee. “I’ve heard a few things also. Hadn’t heard that last one.” Wolff said he dumps un-bagged trash from a container straight into the center’s receptacle. He plans to discuss the issues at the next committee meeting.
“One thing we heard at the last meeting was at the Horntown site there was a sign that said ‘only Virginia residents,’” said Wolff. “That is not true. From the committee and from Mr. (Stewart) Hall’s standpoint, we want to see all trash going into the convenience center.” Wolff explained that a lot of Maryland residents work on Wallops Island and take their trash to Horntown’s center. “At least they are not putting it on the side of the road and we welcome that.”
Wolff noted, “From May through June, 10,000 vehicles visited the convenience center on Parksley Road. It’s the busiest one in the county.”
At press time Thursday, County Administrator Mike Mason said the county had contacted Dollar General “and has been assured by a Dollar General representative that the grass at Mappsville will be addressed immediately. It is my expectation that it will be mowed if not today, before the end of the week.”