Dollar General plans to open Jan. 10 in Portsmouth

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PORTSMOUTH — The Dollar General store being built on the corner of East Main Road and Sprague Street has scheduled a “soft opening” for Jan. 10, 2016.

That’s according to an application for a holiday sales license that Dolgen Rhode Island, LLC, doing business as Dollar General, has submitted to the Town Council.

The council, sitting as the Board of License Commissioners, will vote on the license request at its regular meeting set for 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 23, at Town Hall.

The holiday license, which costs $50, would permit Dollar General to be open on most holidays including New Year’s, Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day.

On its application, Dollar General says it plans to be open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., seven days a week.

The discount chain, which operates more than 11,500 stores nationwide, received unanimous approval for a special-use permit March 19 from the town’s Zoning Board of Review for a two-building complex on the commercially zoned site at 3228 East Main Road.

The permit was necessary for the retail/office buildings, which exceed 15,000 square feet, and for a proposed drive-through window. A shared parking facility of 79 spaces is also part of the plan.

The proposal became controversial after several abutters to the property claimed they never received written notification of the zoning board hearings and were stunned to hear of the plan months after it was approved.

One of the most vocal abutters, Denise Wilkey, started a petition against Dollar General, saying it didn’t fit in with the character of Portsmouth.

Several zoning board members said while they regret the fact some abutters may not have received written notification of the meetings, the property is zoned commercial and that the store met all the criteria for a special-use permit.

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